When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

The next “Looking for Alibrandi” – will become a Modern Australian Classic – A book EVERY Australian MUST read!!
Amazing – Mind Blowing – 5 STAR READ!!!

This book is YA Contemporary Fiction from the brilliant, Randa Abdel-Fattah – an author of whom I have the greatest respect – she is such an inspiration to me and I love that she’s written this book. This book explores important issues that a lot of young Australians are facing in today. I can see this book becoming classroom reads for English HSC students. I had the pleasure of doing a read along for this book with another author, friend Shivaun Plozza (author of Frankie)

“When Michael Met Mina” is so relevant to today’s current climate, not only does this book explore immigration and refugees, it also explores Islamaphobia that unfortunately exists in today’s society. By following 2 teens: Michael and Mina, it drives a powerful message that a lot of the fear we see stems either from ignorance or is fuelled by media propaganda but it only takes one to listen openly, one to dig a little bit deeper and do their own research to reach mutual respect and understanding. It also demonstrates that not everyone is tainted with the same brush – a minority do not represent the majority.

Randa did so well with the duel perspective as both voices in the book are very clear, she also did extremely well in showing both sides of the debate which opened my eyes to a few things I never thought of before. The story follows 2 teenagers who come from completely different walks of life: Mina came to Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan and years later wins a scholarship to a prestigious school in the north shore. Mina has grown up in Australia and her parents are small business owners – as a family they love and embrace Australia and try to give back to the land that gave them protection however her initial refugee status is a stigma and she is also subject to Islamaphobia. Mina deals with her move to a new place as well as her identity as she tries to settles into her new school. Mina spends a lot of her school days with her new friend Paula however she meets another student, Michael and everything changes. Michael: a boy born and raised in Australia and is from a family who heads up a campaign called “Aussie Values” which preaches against the incoming of migrants, refugees and Islam.. However, It’s not until Michael meets Mina at school when he begins to question what he’s always known..

I found this to be such a gripping and important coming of age story, thankyou Randa Abdel-Fattah for writing this and thankyou Shivaun Plozza for the twitter updates during our fun read along!!!
-Annie

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