Friday, September 11, 2009

My Name is Bilal

My Name is Bilal

Written by: Asma Mobin-Uddin
Illustrated by: Barbara Kiwak

Upper Elementary and Junior High Grades

"Bilal and his sister, Ayesha, who are Muslim, start school in a new city. At first Bilal tries to blend into the largely non-Muslim environment, calling himself Bill and ducking out of sight when two boys try to pull off Ayesha's head scarf. Encouraged by a sympathetic teacher and his own faith, Bilal finds the courage to stand up with his sister the next time the boys tease her. Bilal and Ayesha point out to their adversaries that they too were born in America and that being American means that they can wear what they want. By standing up for his sister, Bilal earns the boys' respect and takes the first step toward a possible friendship.

The story is told in picture-book format, though the text is longer than that of most picture books. In the illustrations, the students appear to be in middle school, but the book is accessible to younger children as well. This book is a good starting place for discussions of cultural differences, prejudice, and respect for the beliefs of others."

Booklist Review

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