Review: Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy

Posted March 4, 2022 by Richetta in #ownvoices, Book Reviews, Graphic Novel / 0 Comments

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Review: Huda F Are You? by Huda FahmyHuda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy
Published by Penguin on Nov. 23, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Humorous, Young Adult Fiction / Religious / Muslim
Pages: 192
Format: Paperback
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From the creator of Yes, I'm Hot In This, this cheeky, hilarious, and honest graphic novel asks the question everyone has to figure out for themselves: Who are you?

Huda and her family just moved to Dearborn, Michigan, a small town with a big Muslim population. In her old town, Huda knew exactly who she was: She was the hijabi girl. But in Dearborn, everyone is the hijabi girl.

Huda is lost in a sea of hijabis, and she can't rely on her hijab to define her anymore. She has to define herself. So she tries on a bunch of cliques, but she isn't a hijabi fashionista or a hijabi athlete or a hijabi gamer. She's not the one who knows everything about her religion or the one all the guys like. She's miscellaneous, which makes her feel like no one at all. Until she realizes that it'll take finding out who she isn't to figure out who she is.

This graphic novel is hilarious! I know I’m not the only one who wanted to read it based on the title alone. Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy is a book is about identity. It uses humor and honesty to explore the identity crisis that Huda goes through when she moves from a place where she is the token “hijabi girl” to Dearborn, Michigan where she is one of many.

Family Dynamics

I loved the way she portrays hers family in the book. It had me chuckling the entire time. The fact that she makes one of her sisters a mystery space on the page had me rolling, because sometimes that is just how siblings are. Her mother was hilarious. I thought the way she was introduced was very powerful. That moment should create empathy in a lot of readers, especially non-Muslims who have never thought about the experiences of those who are Muslim before.

But for real, moms sitting in the dark waiting for Huda to get home and explain her poor grade was classic!

Identity Crisis

If you are a member of the global majority and have ever been in a long term token situation, you can probably easily relate to Huda’s frustration. When you are used to being the only one, you adapt in certain ways that you don’t have to if you are one of many. I liked the way her search for her true identity was multi-faceted. It included her clothing choices, but also her understanding of her religion and her relationship with friends and most importantly her mother. There are many points of empathy for readers to connect with her experience of discomfort.

Teacher Moment Rant

One point that stuck out to me, was that even though she is part of a majority population now in her school, she is still discriminated against. Some of her teachers are disgustingly racist. Among all of the teachers there is a blatant lack of respect and a disregard to learning more about a large part of their student population. The behavior of the teachers bothered me a lot. Even though the mispronunciation of her name is a running joke throughout the book, it’s still extremely hurtful.

How can you call yourself an educator but remain closed off to learning about your own students?! I remember one of the long term substitutes in my high school deciding to learn how to speak Hmong so he could build a relationship with the Hmong students in his classes. Imagine the shock on their faces when a young Black teacher responded to them in their own language! The gesture went a long way. The same way learning how to pronounce your students’ names does.

About the Author

Does Huda F Are You? have your attention? Check out more about Huda Fahmy and her other books here: https://hudafahmy.com/

HAVE A SIP OF COCOA ☕…

I came for… the title, Huda F Are You? of course.

I stayed for… Huda’s journey to discover who she was.

Hot Cocoa Moments: Moms with the chancla chasing Huda lol!

Would I Read it Again: Yes! I was laughing out loud.

Educator Recommendations: This book is perfect for discussing identity on multiple levels. A good grade level for this would be 9th grade. Since they are currently going through what Huda is in the story. Some kids will see a mirror when they read this book regardless of if they are muslim or not. What Huda is going through, while framed as a crisis of a hijabi girl, it’s something that most kids go through when they experience change for the first time that affects how they see themselves.

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