Sitti's Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye
📚 BOOK REVIEW 📚
Title: Sitti's Secrets
Author: Naomi Shihab Nye
Illustrator: Nancy Carpenter
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Islamic Content: None. Hijabi Grandmother
Concerns: mentions her grandmother's traditional tattoos in passing
Mona reminisces visiting her Grandmother in Pale*tine and although they don't speak the same language, they are able to find a creative way to communicate. She spent her days following her grandmother's daily routine of baking bread in a special outdoor oven, drinking lemonade with mint leaves under the lemon tree, or watching the women of the village carrying jugs of water from the spring. As her short visit comes to an end tearfully, upon her return home she watches the news on television and writes a letter to the president.
This book was published in 1994, 27 years ago, and it is still a very relevant story. Mona studies her Sitti's every move and her love for her culture is shown genuinely through her words. Islam, Muslims or religion are not mentioned in the story, it shows her grandmother in hijab but it is written from a cultural perspective. This tender story really highlights the innocence of the protagonist as she narrates her experience of her visit. The author's talent to construct the words ever so gently are noticeable from beginning to end. Honestly, my favourite line that stands out in the story is this: 'Sometimes I think the world is a huge body tumbling in space, all curled up like a child sleeping. People are far apart, but connected.' This book captures glimpses of the Palestinian culture and traditions. You can check out this book from your local public library.