Monday, August 13, 2012

Nonfiction Monday-- Growing Up Muslim

Ali-Karamali, Sumbul. Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam. Random House
14 August 2012

In an easy to read, conversational style, the author explains a wide variety of Muslim cultures, traditions and life styles. These range from very mundane, such as what Muslims can wear and eat (as well as why these choices are important), to the ways that Muslims are supposed to act (dating, giving to charity, etc.), to the religious minutiae that sets them apart from other religions (beliefs, rites, etc.). I was very interested in this topic, since I have a fair number of students who are Muslim, and have had, on occasion, students who wanted to stay in the library over lunch when they were fasting. As yet, I have never had anyone looking for a place to pray, but I would not be surprised if this is an issue soon. This was a very good introduction to a culture about which I knew very little.

My only objection is that this is a rather long book (176 pages), and most of my students might not want quite this much information. Students who are Muslim might find this interesting because of the wide range of beliefs and practices, and this would certainly be very good in a high school library. I would like something for the middle school that didn't go into quite as much detail. That would be very useful to have.

I would also recommend this for teachers who have Muslim students. There was a bit of a snafu during testing-- one of the snacks provided were fruit gummies, and the Muslim students wouldn't eat them because gelatin can be made from pork products. Some of our teachers were a little surprised.

Nonfiction Monday was started by Anastasia Suen. This weekend, the round up is at The Nonfiction Detectives.

1 comments:

Natalie Dias Lorenzi said...

I've had this e-Galley on my Kindle for a few months, and will have to move it up my TBR pile. We also have a large number of Muslim students, and this is one title I wanted to add to our collection.

As an aside, I was also surprised that marshmallows contain gelatin, which our Muslim students do not eat. One teacher used mini-marshmallows and toothpicks for a 3-D shape activity in math, and was surprised to learn that her Muslim students couldn't eat these.

Thanks for the nudge to read this title!

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