Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind *****
by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Overview: Shabanu's family are nomads in the deserts of Pakistan. This is her coming of age story about leaving behind all that she holds dear as a girl and facing the bitter reality of growing up.
Negative elements: rape, abuse, murder. In addition, this story has many mature themes related to sexuality including puberty, arranged marriages, multiple wives, etc.
Positive elements: loyalty to family
Conclusion: Life for a young Muslim girl can be so hopeless, especially if forced into a bad marriage. I really came to care for Shabanu, her sister, and her parents. I felt like I was there in Pakistan, living in the desert, raising camels, and traveling with the rains. This book is so well-written. I think that's why the book's sad ending was so devastating.
I would only recommend this book to older teens or young adults due to the mature themes. And even then, I would be hesitant to recommend it. This is a Newberry Honor book.