'Welcome to my world. I'm Amal Abdel-Hakim, a seventeen-year-old Australian-Palestinian-Muslim still trying to come to grips with my various identity hyphens.
'It's hard enough being cool as a teenager when being one issue behind in the latest Cosmo is enough to disqualify you from the in-group. Try wearing a veil on your head and practising the bum's up position at lunchtime and you know you're in for a tough time at school.
Luckily my friends support me, although they've got a few troubles of their own. Simone, blonde, gorgeous and overweight – she's got serious image issues, and Leila's really intelligent but her parents are more interested in her getting a marriage certificate than her high school certificate!
'And I thought I had problems...'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'The present essay discusses Randa Abdel-Fattah’s Does My Head Look Big in This? by focusing on the rendition of Islam as an axis of social agency in an environment that is excessively antagonistic of any version of Islam that falls outside the contours of the “liberal model” morphed by the Western creed of equality, liberty. Amal, the protagonist, embodies the dilemmas of choice and agency within an ideological rubric which disassociates such notions from faith-based convictions. The analysis relies on the notion of Muslim agency as theorized by Saba Mahmood, for whom the conscious formation of deeply rooted religious subjectivities is sidelined within the modern secular rubrics of self-formation. The article also draws on W.E.B Du Bois’s concept of double consciousness to highlight the extent to which Muslim female bodies are caught at the intersection between religion and nation. Hence, this essay discloses the challenges facing Muslim women whose exercise of agency is tied to their religious beliefs in a backdrop characterized by multicultural and secular economies. More particularly, it explores Amal’s religious tradition of habituated practices—such as wearing the veil in a hostile environment—as embodiments of autonomous agency.'
'This paper is based on three selected novels entitled Does My Head Look Big In This? (2005), Ten Things I Hate About Me (2006), and Where The Streets Had A Name (2008) written by Randa Abdel-Fattah (1979), a Palestinian-Egyptian Australian Muslim diasporic writer. In this article, we examine the manifestations of grafting eco-diasporic identity by Abdel-Fattah in order to address how identity graft is operated by interacting with ideology, culture and nature in the contexts of the host land and the homeland as represented in the three selected novels. Using Colin Richards’ theory of graft as a framework, we explore identity contestations of Muslim young adults in the novels from an ecocritical and diasporic perspectives. In the novel Does My Head Look Big In This?, the images of Amal’s sense of being marginalised in the semiosphere of the host land and the sense of self-respect of her Muslim rootedness and heritage of the homeland semiosphere frame the fractured graft of identity. The character of Jamilah, in Ten Things I Hate About Me displays genuine manifestations of the collective emblem of the grafted identity. Finally, the symbol of the iconic jar of the homeland soil and its potentiality of regenerating Hayaat’s identity in Where the Streets Had A Name exhibits the ecological semiosphere in which the grafted identity is shaped. The current discussion, therefore, offers fresh insights into allowing a new horizon for identity grafting in Abdel-Fattah’s works as well as other writers within the tradition of Muslim Diasporic Literature.'
'Randa Abdel-Fattah’s 2006 novel, Does My Head Look Big in This?, is about a teenage Australian Muslim protagonist who voluntarily chooses to wear the hijab to her elite private school in Melbourne, and the personal and social challenges that she faces after making this decision. In this paper, I suggest that the novel portrays the action of wearing the hijab as mainly apolitical, and that it is instead a spiritual and religious act which demonstrates aspects of the hijab as empowering to an individual’s life. This subverts the stereotypical understanding of the hijab, particularly by the West, as either a tool of control and subjugation of Muslim women, or as a stand against Western society and ideology. By using Saba Mahmood’s (2005) study of Muslim women piety, which argues that Islam and its practices can be used as a tool for women’s empowerment, particularly for achieving self- improvement and self-actualization, this paper pays attention to the representation of the hijab in the novel. The decision to wear the hijab opens a path for the protagonist to become more adherent to her religion, as well as improving her attributes and individuality as a whole. This creates a wholesome young woman who is not only committed to her religion, but is also mindful of her character.'
'Cart's authoritative survey is already a go-to text for students of literary studies, teachers, and YA staff. In this new edition he gives it a thorough update to make it even more relevant and comprehensive. Surveying the landscape of YA lit both past and present, this book
'Cart's up-to-date coverage makes this the perfect resource for YA librarians who want to sharpen their readers' advisory skills, educators and teachers who work with young people, and anyone else who wants to understand where YA lit has been and where it's heading.' (Publication summary)
'This article traces the increasing participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors and Muslim-Australian authors in the Australian young-adult fiction market. Using bibliographical data drawn from the AustLit database, the article first outlines the general parameters of young-adult publishing in Australia since the 1990s, before specifically examining the works produced by Indigenous Australian and Muslim-Australian authors. These two groups share a significant characteristic: although they are often at the forefront of current Australian public discourse, they are more often the object of such speech than the speaking subject. This article examines the extent to which young-adult fiction provides a platform for these authors.'