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An Andalus Adventure

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After centuries of unrest under the rule of tyrant Visigoth kings, a desperate cry breaks free and carries over the Straits to reach the shores of North Africa, to the land of the Umayyads. The summary might make the book seem fast paced, and while it does constantly move forward to a clear destination, it isn’t a “buckle your seatbelt and hang on” type of story. Jacob, captured in Julian's raid on Iberia, is tied up and thrust upon a galley boat bound for North Africa. My teen and tween son couldn’t get past 38 pages or so, and I’ve asked around and no one I know that started the book, finished it.

I don’t know that I could get middle school students to read the book for a book club, it would have to be motivated by a grade to get through it in a classroom setting I’m afraid.The first few pages grip you, the last 50 bring it all together, but the middle 250 were hit and miss in this lower YA/upper MG book. The climax is nice but ultimately rather lackluster, and the beauty of characters taking shahada, Jews being freed, Solomon’s table, an old lady with a premonition, and a character dying are just not enough to keep the story in reader’s hands, unfortunately. Are there any safe spaces where your package could have been left or could it have been delivered to one of you neighbours. Siblings Ben and Bella live under constant Visigoth scrutiny, forced to lead a double life of secrets and deception. I love historical fiction, visiting Spain is on my bucket list, this book has a map, details about what is historical what is fiction, has Islam woven in to the heart and soul of the story and characters, and yet it was a hard read.

Siblings Ben and Bella live under constant Visigoth scrutiny, forced to live a double life of secrets and deception. This author’s style is a bit more slow, but I think in the House of Ibn Kathir series, the setting of being in school and having friend problems is relatable to readers; boarding horses on to a boat, deciding to wage war, and going in to battle are not familiar concepts, and without the emotional connection it loses momentum.Her childhood was spent in Wales, and after graduating, having travelled widely in the Muslim world, she lives in London with her husband and three children.

Jalali’s books explore the Islamic faith through the tradition of storytelling – entertaining with adventurous, humorous and memorable characters to fuel the imagination. I appreciated the updates on the characters and it showing Muslims and people of other faiths coexisting and being accepting even within families, but the connection to the story was a little lost. All that aside, I think the book has value, it is just really dry in spots, a lot of spots, and given the vocabulary, the changing narrators, the choppiness between chapters, and the history, it is hard to keep reading or be anxious to pick up once you have put it down. The year is 711 CE, 92 years after the Hijra of the Prophetﷺ and seventy-nine years since hisﷺ death.Filed under 5th grade and up, Historical Fiction, islamic fiction, middle grades, Middle School, Muslim Author, Muslim Character, OWN Voice, ramadan, Uncategorized and tagged 2022, adventure, An Andalus Adventure, Andalus, battle, berbers, boats, clean, Eid, friendship, Historical Fiction, horses, Iberia, Islam, islamic fiction, islamic historical fiction, jews, liberation, Middle School, northern Africa, Oppression, ramadan, S. Similarly, I love that it mentioned Abbas Ibn Firnas, but I don’t know that most kids know enough about him to know what is being hinted at and what the outcome was of his flight at the end. The book would naturally lend itself to the students keeping character journals, the supplements and backmatter would allow for references and insight in to real history, and I think the book would do really well in this set up to connect with the audience. Jacob, captured in Julian’s raid on Iberia, is tied up and thrust upon a galley boat bound for North Africa. Leaving his sleepy village of Tlemcen, a young Berber Qasim, joins Tariq’s men, and is swept away on an amazing quest.

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