Monday, July 13, 2009

Wanting Mor Rukhsana Khan

Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan This is Khan's first YA novel. She is an award winning children's author in Canada. Jameela lives in a small village in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Set around 2001, Jameela has grown up surrounded by war. When Jameela's Mor (mother), dies, she is lost. Soon after the funeral, Jameela's baba, (father) sells everything they own and moves them to the city of Kabul. When they first got their, Jameela did her best to figure out the new world she was in. Her baba didn't care too much for her welfare. Without her mor their was no one to answer her questions, all she could do was follow. Jameela's baba remarries, the new wife works her very hard and he doesn't intervene. One day the new wife decides she doesn't want Jameela around. Jameela's baba leaves her in the market. It was very sad to see how trusting Jameela was, standing for hours before she would even sit because she worried her baba wouldn't see her when he returned. Luckliy for Jameela, a kind butcher takes her home with him to his family. Eventually, Jameela is placed in an orphanage. I didn't know if that was a good or bad thing, but it was still upsetting that Jameela was at the mercy of so many people. The orphanage turns out to be where Jameela finds a new home. She finally gets to go to school and make friends. Khan draws out several of the secondary characters to making the novel more interesting. I really enjoyed Wanting Mor and found I couldn't stop reading. When I was away from it I found myself thinking about Jameela. Jameela dreamed of her Mor often. She a practicing Muslim, throughout the book Jameela says her prayers. Khan's weaves Jameela's faith and prayers seamlessly into the story. The author also incorporates a few Farsi, Pushto and Arabic words, from the surrounding sentences it was pretty easy to figure out what the words meant* Nothing miraculous or unbelievable happens and that's part of Wanting Mor's beauty. Its simply the story of a girl from a village, who moves to the city, tethered to no one and how quickly she could get lost and forgotten. Wanting Mor would be perfect book club selection. Ages 11up
*Great practice for the SAT, if a young reader can figure out was a Farsi, Pushto or Arabic words, with the help of the surrounding sentence, than doing it with English words may not seem as hard.

Check out this great interview, over at Writing With a Broken Tusk. It made me want to read the book.


Bam-Bam said...

Ooh, you're right, that was an interesting interview. Especially the part where her own daughters decided to cover themselves.

Doret said...

That was my favorite part.

Rukhsana Khan said...

Hi there,

Thanks for the kind words about my book!

I really admire your blog!

I'm still getting comfortable making my foray into the world of blogging.

Rukhsana Khan said...

Oops. I'm doing a special promotion at my blog. The first twenty people who want an autographed copy of the Australian cover, can email me.