Coming to America: A Muslim Family's Story

by Bernard Wolf

Bernard Wolf’s welcome photodocumentary introduces the Mahmoud family, who... read more

Bernard Wolf’s welcome photodocumentary introduces the Mahmoud family, who emigrated to Queens, New York, from Egypt. Their life in America is seen from the perspective of Rowan, the youngest daughter. Wolf relates the Mahmoud’s experiences as Muslim immigrants and the ways they have blended their Muslim and Egyptian culture with American life. The power of the volume is in the way it shows the family engaged in both familiar American activities, such as Rowan in a computer lab at a public school or attending a birthday party, and activities related to their their Muslim religion and Egyptian heritage, from eating an Egyptian meal to praying at their Mosque. The book strikes a balance between the celebratory and the ordinary, highlighting the economic advancement and scholastic success of the family along with the everyday events of daily life, from shopping and cooking to going to work or school. Sometimes Rowan misses Egypt, but she has many friends from different cultures in her neighborhood to rely on for support. While the book does not go into great detail about Islam, it does provide a snapshot of an Egyptian Muslim family in America, with lively photographs and a cheerful narrative. (Ages 8–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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