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American Heart
Contributor(s): Moriarty, Laura
ISBN: 0062694103     ISBN-13: 9780062694102
Publisher: Harperteen
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: January 2018
Qty:
Annotation: A timely young adult debut by the best-selling author of The Chaperone imagines a United States that enforces registries and detainment camps for Muslim Americans, in a story tracing the experiences of a teen whose perceptions of right and wrong are transformed by her relationship with a fugitive. 40,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Muslim Americans; Fiction.
Concentration camps; United States; Fiction.
Dystopias; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2018002891
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 6.00" W x 1.25" (1.05 lbs) 402 pages
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 November #1)

In 16-year-old Sarah-Mary's near-future America, the U.S–Mexico border is closed and Muslims are being sent to internment camps. These aren't things Sarah-Mary thinks about much. She doesn't know any Muslims; she and her younger brother, Caleb, are stuck living with their strict aunt; and she hates her suffocating Baptist high school. Then Caleb insists that she help a Muslim woman get to safety in Canada, and her journey with "Chloe" begins. In her YA debut, Moriarty (The Chaperone) incorporates several familiar road trip themes as the two hitchhike north, but the real story is Sarah-Mary's awakening to her own prejudices and intolerance. Sarah-Mary is resourceful and good at thinking on her feet, constantly checking her moral compass against what she's been told; smart, exhausted Sadaf (aka Chloe), an engineer whose biggest mistake was loving the U.S. too much to leave, worries about herself, her family, and the dangerous situation she's putting Sarah-Mary in. A string of coincidences in the final chapters are a letdown, but Moriarty's novel remains an effective tale of dawning awareness and the risks and rewards of following one's conscience. Ages 13–up. Agent: Margaret Riley King, William Morris Endeavor. (Jan.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 December)

Gr 8 Up—In a near-future that harkens back to the Japanese internment during World War II, "Get 'Em Outta Here" is a T-shirt slogan, and Muslims are required to live in "security zones," aka detention centers, supposedly for their own safety. Sarah-Mary, who lives with her religious aunt in rural Missouri, hasn't given much thought to the containment rules until her little brother is aided by an Iranian woman. Sarah-Mary agrees to help the woman make her way to the Canadian border and they concoct a story about Sarah-Mary's Portuguese aunt, who speaks no English. Hitchhiking is cold and dangerous, despite their sign: "Needing Ride… Help a Sister Out!" Adding complications is the large reward for Sadaf Behzadi's apprehension. As they travel, Sarah-Mary comes to realize that Sadaf (who taught electrical engineering in college, before the political changes) is not threatening, although she does need to find the proper direction in hotel rooms, to kneel for her prayers. The story centers on the logistics of the road trip, with little depth to Sadaf and Muslim culture. For more nuanced insights, consider Omar Saif Ghobash's Letters to a Young Muslim, a nonfiction book written for adults but accessible to teens, or Gretchen Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel comics, starring a Pakistani American teenage Muslim superhero. VERDICT For large library collections only.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.