Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer Reading 2015 The Jinni on the Roof

The Jinni on the Roof: A Ramadan Story

It can sometimes be hard to find children's books that depict cultural diversity but offer enough commonalities that readers can identify with the characters. This story does that easily by showing a boy who decides to play a trick on his family. At some point or other most of us have probably craved a particular food or been so hungry that we didn't want to wait until meal time to eat. That is Raza's situation; he wants the "hot, flaky parathas" and doesn't want to go to school and miss out on the breakfast being served at home. So he decides to make the cook think there is a hungry jinni on the roof who wants her to leave some parathas for him. 

Young readers will laugh at Uncle Hassan snoring and waking Raza up, and at Raza's clever impersonation of a jinni to trick Amina the cook. They will also be able to identify with a house full of relatives gathered for the holidays. The humor and the things they relate to will help the unfamiliar parts of the story not seem too strange. There is a glossary of terms in the back to define words such as iftar, chai, and lassi. The author's note explains about the tradition of Ramadan and the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. 

This would be an excellent book to include in units about holidays or families. A class could even use the recipe at the back of the book to make their own parathas and find out why Raza enjoys them so much.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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