4 star reviews, Book reviews, race relations, YA

American Heart by Laura Moriarty

4/5 stars

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I LOVE Laura Moriarty’s writing.  The Center of Everything is one of my favorite books, after I read it, I read everything Laura Moriarty had published.  I have been waiting and waiting for a new book from her.  I was so excited when I heard about the release of this book.

In this novel, Muslim-Americans are forced to register and go to interment camps.  Sarah-Mary Williams and her brother have been abandoned by their mother to live with their conservative Christian aunt in Missouri.  From what I have read and from what I know from years of homeschooling and following homeschool blogs, I do not doubt that there “schools”  like the one Sarah-Mary’s aunt sends her to really exist.

Sarah-Mary doesn’t know any Muslims and she assumes that what she sees on the news and hears from her aunt and the people at her school and church is all true.  Then she happens upon Sadaf, a Muslim doctor who is trying to escape to Canada to avoid the interment camps.  At first Sarah-Mary wants to turn Sadaf in, but as she spends more time with Sadaf and gets to know her better, Sarah-Mary realizes all that she has in common with Sadaf.

I thought this novel was good.  I thought at times it was too simple, too easy and the ending was too neat and tidy, but it was aimed at a YA audience and not an adult audience.  Had it been aimed at adults, I would have expected more depth and less simplicity especially in the ending.  I think it is an important read for teens (and maybe their parents) and a good place for discussion.

I love that there are so many books that encourage a diverse world view.

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