If, as a young bookish girl, you loved Little Women and totally identified with Jo–have I got the perfect read for you. More to the Story is a reworking of Alcott’s classic tale, set in contemporary Georgia and featuring a Pakistani American Muslim family. 6th-grader Jameela is an avid aspiring journalist, working away at her school newspaper. When a boy from England moves in next door, the sisters perk up–Ali is young and cute and has a British accent to boot. But events take a grim turn when Jameela’s father leaves the family to take a job overseas. And then her younger sister Bisma falls sick, with cancer….
I loved the way Khan has taken on a classic and shaped it to reflect our multicultural world–her respect and affection for the original tale shine through on every page. Like Little Women, this story is narrated by Jameela, whose efforts to make her dad proud don’t always work out as intended. Winning characters, a plot clued-in to the modern-day concerns of middle-graders, and nuanced portrayals of Pakistani American and Muslim culture all make this book a must-read. And hey, it’d make a great movie too!
Note: this book’s release date is September 3. I received an advance copy from NetGalley for this review.
I reviewed this book for Multicultural Kid Blogs Read Around the World Summer Series! Check out their Fb page and their other book recs at https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalKidBlogs/
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