Not the Girls You're Looking for

by Aminah Mae Safi

Muslim American Lulu Saad is one of four young women in a tight group of friends... read more

Muslim American Lulu Saad is one of four young women in a tight group of friends in Houston. Her dad is a history professor who emigrated from Iraq; her mom is a lawyer from Louisiana. Lulu’s friendships are strong and fierce, but also complicated and at times highly charged. Her family and extended relations with their Muslim community in Houston are also challenging as Lulu navigates her complex identity. A work that illuminates sexism, racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, and prejudice (many of the Muslim women in their extended community aren’t exactly welcoming to her mom, so the prejudice in her family works both ways) isn’t about any of those things. It’s about a teen girl trying to understand what has happened as her friendships seem to be unraveling, where she is accountable and where she is owed accountability; it’s about figuring out who she is and how she fits into her circle of friends and her extended family and community. While a revenge plot against a boy is over the top (if viscerally satisfying), the feelings behind it regarding consent are not in a story that is otherwise nuanced and bold, funny and painful, and that confronts macro- and micro-aggressions on many fronts. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

show less