Cover image for The lines we cross
Title:
The lines we cross
Author:
Abdel-Fattah, Randa., author.
Uniform Title:
When Michael met Mina
Edition:
First [United States] edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 2017.

©2017
Physical Description:
393 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
Michael's parents are leaders of a new anti-immigrant political party called Aussie Values which is trying to halt the flood of refugees from the Middle East; Mina fled Afghanistan with her family ten years ago, and just wants to concentrate on fitting in and getting into college--but the mutual attraction they feel demands that they come to terms with their family's concerns and decide where they stand in the ugly anti-Muslim politics of the time.
General Note:
"First published 2016 in Australia by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd ... Sydney, New South Wales, Australia."
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781338118667
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

From one of the most important voices in contemporary Muslim literature comes a remarkable story about the power of choosing tolerance.

Michael usually concerns himself with basketball and hanging out with his friends, but every once in a while, his parents drag him to meetings and rallies with their anti-immigrant group. And it all makes sense to Michael.

Until Mina, a beautiful girl from the other side of the protest lines, shows up at his school, and turns out to be funny, smart - and a Muslim refugee from Afghanistan. Suddenly, his parents' politics seem much more complicated.

Mina has already had a long and arduous journey leaving behind her besieged home in Afghanistan, and the frigid welcome at her new school is daunting. She just wants to settle in and help her parents get their restaurant up and running. But nothing about her new community will be that easy. As tensions increase, lines are drawn. Michael has to decide where he stands. Mina has to protect herself and her family. Both have to choose what they want their world to look like.


Author Notes

Randa Abdel-Fattah was born on July 6 1979 in Sydney Australia. She is an Australian Muslim writer of Palestinian and Egyptian decent. Her first novel Does My Head Look Big in This? was published in 2005.

Abdel-Fattah studied a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law at the University of Melbourne. During this time, she was the Media Liaison Officer at the Islamic Council of Victoria, a role that afforded her the opportunity to write for newspapers and engage with media institutions about their representation of Muslims and Islam. Abdel-Fattah was a passionate human rights advocate and stood in the 1998 federal election as a member of the Unity Party. Her book titles include: Ten Things I Hate about Me, Where the Streets Had a Name, Noah's Law and The Friendship Matchmaker. In 2015 her title Does My Head Look Big in This? will be adapted into a film.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Acclaimed author and Islamophobia expert Abdel-Fattah pens another timely story. As a child, Mina came to Australia by boat, a Muslim refugee escaping turmoil in her native Afghanistan. Now, as a teen, she enters an elite preparatory school on the other side of Sydney, on scholarship. Michael, a natural-born Australian citizen, hasn't spent too much time second-guessing his parents' involvement in a local anti-immigrant group, until he sees Mina, and his unquestioning trust in his parents begins to fray. Told in chapters alternating between Mina and Michael, this mature, nuanced novel explores the forces that feed anti-immigrant sentiment and the hypocrisy that festers in hateful beliefs. There are no easy answers here, and, indeed, several uncomfortable moments as Michael resists his parents' deeply held beliefs. Though a novel like this could easily become didactic, Abdel-Fattah expertly sidesteps heavy-handed lessons, instead deeply rooting the story in the experiences of these two teenagers, rendering their story, encompassing romance, a testament to friendship, and a powerful call to action, in utterly real and sympathetic terms. Though the setting is Australia, readers will find direct parallels to current situations in the U.S., and given the fallout of the 2016 election, this book could not be more necessary. Deserving of wide readership and discussion.--Barnes, Jennifer Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Originally published in Australia, Abdel-Fattah's novel about a blossoming teenage romance could hardly be more timely; although set in Sydney, the book is acutely relevant to American readers. Michael's first glimpse of Mina is from the opposing side of a protest: she is demonstrating for refugees' rights, and he is with Aussie Values, a nationalist group founded by his father. Smitten, Michael is surprised to find that Mina is a new student in his prestigious and predominantly white high school. Their testy first exchange sets the stage for a typical opposites-attract story, except that it reveals their deep-seated differences about Mina's presence in Australia. An Afghan refugee who arrived by boat ("jumping the queue," according to Aussie Values) more than 10 years earlier, Mina has left her diverse neighborhood and school thanks to a scholarship. As she adjusts to her new environment, Michael struggles to align his evolving feelings with his family's outspoken principles. Abdel-Fattah (Where the Streets Had a Name) delivers an engaging romance within a compelling exploration of the sharply opposing beliefs that tear people apart, and how those beliefs can be transformed through human relationships. Ages 12-up. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Mina, her mother, and her stepfather, Afghani refugees in Sydney, Australia, are moving out of multicultural Auburn into a more homogenous, wealthy neighborhood to open a halal restaurant. Michael is the obedient son of the founder of Aussie Values, an anti-immigration group. The two teens meet at Mina's new school, where she is on scholarship. Michael is immediately smitten with witty, self-possessed, intelligent Mina. He falls hard and has to figure out what he believes, because if he is anti-immigration, he is anti-Mina. Mina struggles with trusting Michael, whose family is clearly no ally to hers and whose best friend is a complete jerk. Told from the protagonists' alternating perspectives, this work presents a multifaceted look at a Muslim teen. Mina and Michael's relationship is threatened by direct attacks perpetrated by Aussie Values on Mina's family's restaurant. Their love develops amid (mostly) well-meaning but flawed family and friends. Abdel-Fattah explores teen nerdiness, sexuality, cruelty, compassion, family pressure, neglect, and loyalty. She is a master at conveying themes of tolerance, working in humor, and weaving multiple emotionally complex points of view. VERDICT A timely and compassionate portrait of the devastating losses of refugees, political conflicts within a family and a nation, and the astounding capacity of young people to identify hate and yet act with empathy and love. A must-purchase for all collections.-Sara Lissa Paulson, City-As-School High School, New York City © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Suddenly Dad's face breaks out into a grin. "Michael! Look!" I glance in the direction he's motioning and, noticing a reporter and cameraman, smile. "Your mum's press release must have worked." He runs his fingers through his thinning hair and readjusts the flag. "How do I look?" "Like the leader of a new political organization," I say proudly. "Who's sweltering under that thing. Don't forget it's all about the sound bites. Aussie Values aims to represent the silent majority blah blah. The kind of thing you and Mum were practicing last night." "We have about fifty members," Dad says with a grin. "In a population of twenty-three million, I wouldn't say that really constitutes a majority." He leans in close to me and winks conspiratorially. "But nobody needs to know that, hey, mate?" The chants of the other protestors are getting louder. Rick, from our side, starts up a chant in reply. Game on. The atmosphere is electric, and people are fired up on both sides. And then I see her. Her eyes. I've never seen eyes like hers before. What color are they? Hazel and green and flecks of autumn and bits of emerald and I'm standing holding my sign and there she is, standing steps away, near the cop, holding hers ( It's Not Illegal to Seek Asylum ), and all I can think about is how the hell I'm going to take my eyes off her. Her hair is jet black, hanging loose down her back, and I think hair that gorgeous has no business being on someone like her . She's wearing jeans and a plain white T-shirt. She's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen and it stupidly, inexplicably, throws me. Excerpted from The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.