Sadia -A Muslim Girl From Winnipeg

I just finished reading Sadia by Winnipeg author Colleen Nelson. It is a novel about a young Muslim woman facing the pressures most teens do as they deal with friends, faith, family, school work, extracurricular activities and their first romantic feelings.  There were many ways I connected with the book. 

  • It is set in my home city. Although Sadia’s family is from Damascus in Syria they have immigrated to Winnipeg where her Dad is a professor at the University of Manitoba and her Mom works at the Millennium Library. I liked coming across familiar places in the novel.
  • Sadia, a grade nine student, is crazy about basketball. I was a die-hard fan when both of my sons played basketball in junior high and high school. I could understand Sadia’s devotion to the game.
  •  I loved the photography assignment Sadia’s teacher Mr.Letner gave his class.  When I taught high school journalism I did a unit on photography and Mr Letner shows his students some of the same award-winning photos I used in my teaching.  
  • I am a big fan of Nadia Kidwai the CBC radio morning weekend host.  She has such a warm way with her guests and listeners. Nadia acted as a consultant for this book.  Sadia the main character wears a hijab and so does Nadia.  

Author Colleen Nelson, a Winnipeg teacher, says she wrote Sadia at the request of a Muslim student who was disappointed there were so few novels with Muslim young women as the protagonists.  

Another book I have read that has a Muslim young woman as the main character is Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali. It is however directed more towards an older adolescent audience while I think Sadia might be enjoyed more by younger teens. 

I learned more about the war in Syria from reading this book.  

I learned what it might be like to wear a hijab.

I learned about an amazing worldwide project called If You Give a Kid a Camera.  

Photo of Colleen Nelson from Dundurn Press

I was introduced to Colleen Nelson. This is the first of her novels I have read and it made me want to read more of them.

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3 Comments

Filed under Books

3 responses to “Sadia -A Muslim Girl From Winnipeg

  1. I have read several of Colleen’s books. Sadia is on my shelf to be read and this review helps move it closer to the top of the list.

    250 Hours is my favourite of her books, Blood Brothers and The Fall were also excellent reads.

    Like

  2. Will get hold of a copy soon.

    Like

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