HUDA F ARE YOU is a graphic memoir (albeit fictionalized) by Huda Fahmy that tackles identity, teen angst, family expectations, and friendship with earnest humor and empathetic introspection. With deeply moving scenes around self-doubt, fitting in, and the love between a mother and child, the book will connect with readers of any age. Fahmy has created a wide cast of characters who are both realistic and sympathetic, cringe-worthy and likable, and most of us will recognize ourselves and our friends and family in the pages.
Huda moves from a town where she is the only girl wearing a hijab to a town where she is just one more hijabi. As she shifts from being “the other” because of her outward appearance, Huda begins to figure out more and more layers of her identity. Not easy! Between trying out clubs, friends, keeping up her grades, and learning how to navigate racist micro-aggressions, Huda is exhausted — but hopeful. The character is so authentic and endearing, that readers are rooting for her at every step forward and at every misstep as well.
A particularly moving scene is when Huda’s mother comes in to school to discuss a teacher who has been discriminating against Huda because she is Muslim and wears a hijab. Afraid of further angering the teacher, Huda denies the accusation when meeting with the principal and her mother; she realizes she has broken her mother’s heart. A few pages later, Huda’s sister explains that their mother is mainly upset because she wants Huda to learn to stand up for herself. Happily, Huda finds a way by the end of the story.
HUDA F ARE YOU? is a fast-paced graphic memoir with laughs, heart tugs, and thought provoking scenes. Highly recommended!