A Kirkus Best Book of 2019
Nadine Jolie Courtney's All-American Muslim Girl is a relevant, relatable story of being caught between two worlds, and the struggles and hard-won joys of finding your place.
Allie Abraham has it all going for her—she’s a straight-A student, with good friends and a close-knit family, and she’s dating popular, sweet Wells Henderson. One problem: Wells’s father is Jack Henderson, America’s most famous conservative shock jock, and Allie hasn’t told Wells that her family is Muslim. It’s not like Allie’s religion is a secret. It’s just that her parents don’t practice, and raised her to keep it to herself.
But as Allie witnesses Islamophobia in her small town and across the nation, she decides to embrace her faith—study, practice it, and even face misunderstanding for it. Who is Allie, if she sheds the façade of the “perfect” all-American girl?
Living just outside Atlanta, Allie Abraham is the daughter of a Texas-born American history professor who is Circassian. Allie has hazel eyes, pale skin, and blonde hair, and she's always been encouraged to keep her Muslim heritage secret for safety and convenience ("I don't trigger people's radar"), but when she's out with her father, people "take one look and decide he's clearly From Somewhere Else." Now, feeling compelled to embrace the religion her father turned away from, she begins to explore what it means to be Muslim while encountering prejudice in the American South, including from those who don't consider her "Muslim enough." At the same time, Allie begins falling for cute fellow student Wells Henderson, who happens to be related to a nationally known Islamophobic bigot. Courtney (Romancing the Throne) examines matters of subtle and blatant Islamophobia, privilege and erasure, and questions of faith and identity with a sensitivity born of experience and respect. Ages 12 up.