Unsettled by Reem Faruqi
📚 Unsettled 📚
Author: Reem Faruqi
Publisher: Harper Kids
Islamic Content: Muslim family, Islamic bits trickled in the book.
Concerns: Bullying, abuse, details about miscarriage, internal crushes
Nurah's is devastated when her baba tells them the news that they will be moving to America. She leaves behind her best friend and her grandparents, and starts a new chapter in her life with her parents and brother. Adjusting to the culture shock, big and small, new school and finding a permanent home. The perfect outlet for her and her brother to all the big changes is weekly swimming at the rec center.
This story took me back over two decades. I've relived my personal experience through the words of this book. I felt so much connection with Nurah's character and adjustments to her new life.
This upper middle grade read is incredibly powerful. It is written in lyrical verse and it is brilliantly done. The voice of Nurah as she and her family adapt to a new country, a new culture, friendships, a swimming race, all while struggling to find her voice and standing true to the values she has always known. Her brother excels in swimming while she is just okay. She lives to see consequences of the jealousy and resentment she has towards him. Nurah is self-conscious about herself and her family in this new setting so she tries to blend in. The Islamic gems are beautifully and naturally shown as part of the values she lives by. She makes mistakes that she regrets but she is fully aware and has a consciousness that keeps her in check. We can really see Nurah's strength and growth blossom as we read more into the story. So many things to take away from this story: jealousy between siblings, courage and strength, standing true to yourself and your values, navigating bullying and so much more. I especially loved to read the inspirations of Reem Faruqi's real life experiences of her own to some of the details in the book.