Winner of the Middle East Book Award, Youth Fiction category
Jameela lives with her mother and father in Afghanistan. Despite the fact that there is no school in their poor, war-torn village, and Jameela lives with a birth defect that has left her with a cleft lip, she feels relatively secure, sustained by her faith and the strength of her beloved mother, Mor.
But when Mor suddenly dies, Jameela's father impulsively decides to seek a new life in Kabul. He remarries, a situation that turns Jameela into a virtual slave to her demanding stepmother. When the stepmother discovers that Jameela is trying to learn to read, she urges her father to simply abandon the child in Kabul's busy marketplace. Jameela ends up in an orphanage.
Throughout it all, it is the memory of Mor that anchors her and in the end gives Jameela the strength to face her father and stepmother when fate brings them into her life again.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.
Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
About the Author
Rukhsana Khan was born in Lahore, Pakistan and grew up in Dundas, Ontario. She is the author of a number of children's books, including Muslim Child, Many Windows, The Roses in My Carpets, and The Big Red Lollipop. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.