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Shabanu: Daughter of the Windby Suzanne Fisher Staples
Newbery honor book, 1990.
A young girl rebels against her traditional, nomadic, bedouin culture by challenging her father.
Synopses & Reviews
This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Nailas fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?
Nailas conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Nailas vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before its too late.
Life is both sweet and cruel to strong-willed young Shabanu, whose home is the windswept Cholistan Desert of Pakistan. The second daughter in a family with no sons, shes been allowed freedoms forbidden to most Muslim girls. But when a tragic encounter with a wealthy and powerful landowner ruins the marriage plans of her older sister, Shabanu is called upon to sacrifice everything shes dreamed of. Should she do what is necessary to uphold her familys honor—or listen to the stirrings of her own heart?
About the Author
Suzanne Fisher Staples is the award-winning author whose novels for young adults include Haveli, the sequel to Shabanu; Dangerous Skies; and Shivas Fire. Before writing books, she worked for many years as a UPI correspondent in Asia, with stints in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.
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