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A Very Large Expanse of Sea
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A Very Large Expanse of Sea
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Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature!From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series comes a powerful, heartrending contemporary novel...
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature!From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series comes a powerful, heartrending contemporary novel...
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Description-

  • Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature!

    From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series comes a powerful, heartrending contemporary novel about fear, first love, and the devastating impact of prejudice.

    It's 2002, a year after 9/11. It's an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who's tired of being stereotyped.

    Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She's tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she's built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

    But then she meets Ocean James. He's the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she's not sure she'll ever be able to let it down.

About the Author-

  • Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Very Large Expanse of Sea, the Shatter Me series, Furthermore, and Whichwood. She can usually be found overcaffeinated and stuck in a book. You can find her online just about anywhere @TaherehMafi or on her website, www.taherehbooks.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 20, 2018
    Hijabi Shirin, 16, starts at a new school in small-town America shortly after 9/11. She rages at those who assume that her religion and headscarf make her a terrorist, but instead of letting her anger “grip both sides of my mouth open and rip me in half,” she uses indifference as armor against the hostile stares of her peers. That is, until she meets Ocean James in her biology class. Against her better judgment, Shirin lets Ocean in and slowly begins to fall for him. But the new couple soon becomes targets of racism, xenophobia, and bigotry. Meanwhile, Shirin finds solace by starting a breakdancing crew with her brother and his friends. Mafi (the Shatter Me series) infuses a contemporary love story with a heartbreakingly realistic portrait of one post-9/11 Muslim life in the United States. Mafi openly addresses many common misconceptions about Islam and what it means to be a woman of color in the face of racism, showing how differences can be applauded, not feared. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House.  

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2018

    Gr 9 Up-In the aftermath of 9/11, Shirin, a Muslim American teenager, bears the brunt of the country's anger on a daily basis. An intelligent, mature girl, Shirin has built up a tough armor from years of being bullied and misunderstood. Moving homes frequently because of her parents' continual desire to upgrade, she and her older brother are used to the ways their peers and teachers warily observe them. But now that the country is in panic mode and people see threats everywhere, Shirin, who has always chosen to wear a headscarf, is ostracized even more than usual at her newest high school. When a good-looking, white classmate, Ocean, starts to pay attention to her, Shirin cautiously dismisses him. Eventually, the two enter into a tentative relationship. No matter how much Shirin had anticipated the backlash, she is unprepared for the events that unfold when the community finds out about the two of them. It is not easy to incorporate important cultural themes in a young adult novel that also satisfies the social, romantic needs of teen readers. Not only does Mafi pull it off beautifully, but she exceeds expectations by delving deeply into characterization as well. Her writing is nuanced, smart, and lacks the sentimentality that often weighs down young adult books. Shirin and Ocean's interactions are palpable, and the discussions and exploration of what it means to be a Muslim in politically charged America will resonate with many teens and will be enlightening for some. VERDICT A must-have for all library collections.-Karin Greenberg, Manhasset High School, Manhasset, NY

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    After attending three different high schools, Shirin's used to finding her way in new places.Unlike her brother, Navid, she lies low, earbuds under her headscarf, ignoring all the racist comments thrown her way. Shirin doesn't take all the bull of her white classmates and their racist ignorance. But two things make this new school different: break-dancing and Ocean, the white lab partner who seems to see beyond Iranian-American Shirin's hijab. She can't get Ocean off her mind: Although he annoys her with his constant questions and texts, which keep eating at her data limit, Ocean forces her to open up. She even takes him out to watch break-dance tournaments, the one diverse place in her life where she doesn't feel alone in a crowd of whiteness. Shirin keeps waiting for Ocean to get bored or to realize that being with her could cost him his friends, his family, and potentially his basketball scholarship. But Ocean doesn't seem to care about other people--what they think, how they act, or what they believe. Even so, their relationship threatens to upend the cultural norms of American suburbia. This gripping political romance takes readers into the life of a young Muslim woman trying to navigate high school with the entire world attacking her right to her body and her faith. A moving coming-of-age narrative about the viciousness of Islamophobia and the unwavering power of love in post-9/11 America. (Fiction. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (Online Review)

  • Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Ember in the Ashes series "A raw yet astoundingly elegant examination of identity, loneliness and family that is unflinching in its honesty and power. Tahereh Mafi holds nothing back—and the reader is better for it."
  • Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Warcross series "A Very Large Expanse of Sea reads like a beautiful heart—one that shines and aches and yearns, and above all else, one that loves fiercely against all odds. A transcendent story about truth, love, and finding joy."
  • Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star "This is a gorgeous book. It's tender and fierce, beautiful even as it depicts some ugly truths. Tahereh's prose is passionate and honest, unsentimental and big-hearted. The very best books move you to reconsider the world around you, and this is one of those. I truly loved it."
  • Washington Post "Tahereh Mafi, known for her fantasy and dystopian novels, proves a master of the contemporary realistic novel. Even as the fraught love story drives the short chapters to a surprising close, Mafi weaves in moments of camaraderie and joy."
  • Booklist (starred review) ★"Mafi tackles the life of an American Muslim teenager in the wake of 9/11 in this visceral, honest novel. Shirin's captivating story opens a window onto a different narrative than the one typically dominating airwaves after 9/11. Rich characters, incisive writing, and a powerful story will thrill readers."
  • School Library Journal (starred review) ★ "[Mafi's] writing is nuanced and smart. Shirin and Ocean's interactions are palpable, and the discussions and exploration of what it means to be a Muslim in politically charged America will resonate with many teens and will be enlightening for some."
  • Publishers Weekly "A contemporary love story with a heartbreakingly realistic portrait of one post-9/11 Muslim life. Mafi openly addresses many common misconceptions about Islam and what it means to be a woman of color in the face of racism, showing how differences can be applauded, not feared."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books "Holds a mirror up to the reality of religious bigotry. A portrait of a strong Muslim teen girl who defies stereotypes. Shirin insists on her right to approach life on her own clear-eyed terms, granting compassion to the deserving and an education to those who need it."
  • Shelf Awareness (starred review) ★ "Mafi gives vivid voice to an underrepresented audience in this story. The teens' rich personalities, desires, powerful emotions and struggles come together to form a memorable work. An outstanding contemporary novel, A Very Large Expanse of Sea is a realistic love story that provides a much-needed perspective."
  • New York Times Book Review "Mafi seamlessly works in questions of identity, race and Islamophobia [and] taps into the fierceness and passion of first love. The novel's bittersweet ending will ring true for most, and break the hearts of many."
  • Entertainment Weekly "Tahereh Mafi soars to new heights with A Very Large Expanse Of Sea. A singular new novel from one of YA's brightest voices."
  • Nerdy Book Club "A masterfully constructed novel. The characters are beautifully developed and authentic. [Shirin's] voice is fierce, funny, vulnerable, and honest. Mafi's novel challenges readers to ponder their own beliefs, assumptions, and actions. And, also reminds us of the captivating bliss of first love."

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