The Monthly Roar

The Student News Site of Maryvale Preparatory School

The Monthly Roar

The Monthly Roar

Book Review

Sadia by Colleen Nelson

There are a lot of books that provide people with knowledge and passion; one of these books is Sadia by Colleen Nelson. Sadia tells a remarkable story about a fifteen-year-old Muslim girl named Sadia. She’s very passionate about basketball and is devoted to her faith by following the traditional Islamic rules, like wearing her hijab. She has a Muslim friend named Miriam who wants to be noticed by the popular crowd, so she starts to de-hijab. Sadia is all about forming friendships and including others, and it is especially seen when a new student, Amira, joins her school. Amira is a refugee from Syria who is also Muslim. Sadia tries to welcome her by helping her learn English, introducing her to her friends, family, and even telling her about her love for basketball. When Sadia hears there is going to be a basketball tournament, she’s elated at first but then gets discouraged because there is a discriminatory rule that bans head coverings, including the hijab. She needs to make a decision between playing in the tournament without her hijab or staying true to her identity, keeping the hijab but not participating in the tournament.


Sadia’s narrative allows the reader to walk in her shoes in the experience of living an Islamic life. The Islamophobia, like how Sadia would not be able to play during the basketball tournament because of her hijab, shows the discrimination Muslims face on a daily basis. This book also reflects the reality of wanting to fit in and be like everyone else. For instance, Miriam taking off her hijab to “fit in” shows that people feel conflicted with their identity because it makes them “stand out” and not look like everyone else. 


Reading Sadia taught me many things about Islam, including its traditions, central values, beliefs, etc. I strongly recommend this book, as its bittersweetness and the emphasis on friendships, identity, and having a passion for something make you want to keep turning the page. 

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