All-American Muslim Girl
by Courtney, Nadine Jolie

A nonpracticing Muslim-American teen, the daughter of a famous conservative shock jock, witnesses acts of Islamophobia in her small town that prompts her courageous study and embrace of her faith. By the author of Romancing the Throne. Simultaneous eBook.

Nadine Jolie Courtney is the author of the YA novel Romancing the Throne. A graduate of Barnard College, her articles have appeared in Town & Country, Robb Report, and Angeleno. She lives in Santa Monica, California.

From her looks, people don't suspect Allie is anything but an all-American (that is, white) girl. But when her family settles in Providence, Georgia, the Islamophobia she has until then only witnessed from a distance forces her to find the strength to tell her friends and boyfriend-whose dad is a fearmongering TV talking head-that her family is Muslim. The road to claiming her religion through study is rife with bigotry but also rich with support. There's a lot to unpack here, but isn't there always when it comes to religion and politics? Courtney does so with poise, naturally integrating genuinely informative context into the story. Allie's inner turmoil about having it all while still abiding by her religion resonates, and her choice to be a practicing Muslim is particularly moving during a time when that choice can seem dangerous. Passages debunk misconceptions about Islam, addressing the topics of feminism, equality, and more, urging one to consider how the Western gaze can lead to misinterpretation. Readers trapped between two worlds, religious or not, will find solace here. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Allie Abraham is tired of being a "receptacle for unguarded Just Between Us White People ignorance" and discomfort. Moving from place to place with her Circassian Jordanian professor father and white American psychologist mother, Allie has been a chameleon, blending in as the perfect all-American girl. Very few people know that Allie is actually Alia and that both her parents are Muslim. Her mother converted upon marrying her no-longer-practicing father, who encourages his daughter to take advantage of the pale skin and reddish-blonde hair that help her avoid being profiled. Allie yearns to connect to her religion and heritage-and to her Teta, the grandmother with whom she is only able to communicate in broken Arabic. Her new boyfriend, Wells Henderson, seems so genuine and likable, unlike his father, a conservative, xenophobic cable newscaster. As Allie embraces all the parts of who she is and confronts Islamophobia, she wonders if others can fully accept her growth. The book handles the complexity and intersectionality of being a Muslim American woman with finesse, addressing many aspects of identity and Islamic opinions. Allie, who has a highly diverse friend group, examines her white-passing privilege and race as well as multiple levels of discrimination, perceptions of conversion, feminism, sexual identity, and sexuality. While grounded in the American Muslim experience, the book has universal appeal thanks to its nuanced, well-developed teen characters whose struggles offer direct parallels to many other communities. Phenomenal. (Fiction. 13-18) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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