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Does My Head Look Big In This?
Transcript of Does My Head Look Big In This?
By: Randa Abdel-Fattah
About the Author
Randa Abdel-Fattah was born in Sydney, Australia in 1979. She is currently 35 years old. Randa is a Muslim who also has Palestinian and Egyptian heritage. She grew up in Melbourne and attended a catholic primary school. She studied art and law at Melbourne University. Randa is a passionate human advocate and uses writing to express her views on Palestinian culture. Several of her articles and novels have been published such as "Does My Head Look Big In This," "Ten Things I Hate About Myself," "Where the Streets Had A Name," and "Noah's Law." She is currently a attorney and lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and two children.
The author’s purpose in writing this book is to teach teenagers that everyone faces their own challenges in life. Stand up for others and set an example for others. “Would you please turn down that nonsense! We can’t hear ourselves talk with that trash on full blast!” (pg.161) This effects the reader because it shows how the elderly woman overlooked the stereotype that all Muslims are bad and she was setting an example for everyone else on the bus. ‘It’s been the “darkies,” the “towel-heads,” the “foreigners,” the “persons of the Middle Eastern appearance,” the Asians, the “oppressed” women, the Greek Orthodox pensioner chain-smoker, the “salami eaters,” the “ethnics,” the narrow-minded and the educated, the total wannabes, the principal with hairy ears who showed me that I am a colorful adjective. It’s their stories and confrontations and pains and joys which have empowered me to know myself, challenged me to embrace my identity as a young Australian-Palestinian-Muslim girl.” (pg.359) This is significant because it basically summed up why she wrote the book. She wrote it to teach children to embrace who they are and there would always be someone there who will support them through everything.
The author develops a theme of stand up for what you believe in and to never give up by putting Amal through several challenges and describing her struggle along the way. “Sometimes it’s easy to lose faith in people. And sometimes one act of kindness is all it takes to give you hope again.” (pg.161) This is significant because it shows how one small act of kindness can change how a person views things. “Nobody is free from prejudice, I guess.” (pg. 286) This is significant because it explains how everyone has their own challenges they face in life. This effects the reader because it teaches them not to judge people based on what they think or believe, because everyone has flaws and they wouldn’t like it if someone pointed out theirs.
Amal Mohamed Nasrullah Abdel-Hakim
Ups & Downs in life
With the tools you need, you'll succeed
Always be something there to catch you
Amal is a typical sixteen year old girl who is trying to decide whether or not she wants to wear the hijab full-time. She is the main character in the story. She recently switched schools and now attends McCleans Prepatory School.
Amal has a very large heart and she's leared how to follow it. It told her she was ready to go full-time and now she's happy she did. She knows right from wrong and she knows she is going to be ok.
Main Characters (cont.)
Adam is Amal's crush in the story, but he is also one of her good friends. His mother walked out on him when he was 7 , so he doen't really hear much from her. He's not very close to his father or his new girlfriend. He is a straight A student and is a popular, athletic guy.
Adam is a very intelligent guy. He uses his brain in school as well as in life. He's usually a straight A student. He also knows not to judge someone based on their appearance or religion. He knows everyone is the same and should be treated as so.
Main Characters (cont.)
Leila is one of Amal's best friends. She is a straight A student and has never made below an A. Her mother has been pressuring her to get married just as she did. However, Leila doesn't want to marry now; she wants to become a lawyer.
A block of ice
Leila is a very smart girl. She is a block of ice. If she's put under too much pressure, eventually she'll break and crumble. Everyone tries to chizel her life for her. However, in the long run, she's the only one who can form her life.
To get to the top, you must go down first
Never give up
Hard work pays off
Faith will carry you there
Don't be afraid
Obstacles are never ending
I really liked this novel. I could really connect with Amal. She's going through life as a typical teenager. Between trying to fit in and crushing on a guy, Amal is just another teen in the world. It elaborated on the ideas of stereotyping and prejudice. It made me realize that no one is free from prejudice, even if we can't see it. It gave me an inside on her actual culture. I enjoyed reading about the customs in a way that wasn't formatted like a history book. I would definitely recommend this book for someone else because I feel it's important to understand other religions and how those who practice it feel. It has bits and pieces of humor but is serious when necessary. I personally all the drama and suspense that came along with too.
: Current day Sydney, Australia
Through all the challenges, Amal pushed through and pushed her friends with her.
The author really wants the reader to think about how they treat others and how they face their own challenges
: Internal Conflict
Point of View
: 1st person
"At this stage you should probably also know that my name is Amal Mohammed Nasrullah Abdel-Hakim." (pg.3)
“Sometimes it’s easy to lose faith in people. And sometimes one act of kindness is all it takes to give you hope again.” (pg.161)
This is significant because it shows how one small act of kindness can change how a person views things. It's like oxygen for a fire. Oxygen is what can bring the coals back to life to create a nice large fire. The lady was the oxygen to Amal's fire and it gave Amal much more self-confidence.
“Nobody is free from prejudice, I guess.” (pg. 286)
This is significant because it explains how everyone has their own challenges they face in life. This effects the reader because it teaches them not to judge people based on what they think or believe, because everyone has flaws and they wouldn’t like it if someone pointed out theirs. Prejudice happens everyday whether we see it or not. It is important to stnad up for what we do see so it can try to be stopped.
“School from seventh grade to tenth grade was Hidaya-The Guidance- Islamic College. Where they indoctrinate students and teach them how to form Muslim ghettos, where they train with Al-Qaeda for school camp and sing national anthems from the Middle East. NOT!” (pg.12)
This is significant because it shows that the Islamic people make jokes at all the stereotypes of their culture. It shows she’s not bothered by this because she’s used to all the things that have been said about her old school and it adds humor to a more serious concept. It's important because it brings up a well-known stereotype. Many people think terrorist when they hear the word "Muslim." The point of the book was to try to stop that reputation.
Abdel-Fattah, Randa. Does My Head Look Big In This. Australia: Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd, 2005. Print.
I chose this article because it talks about how everyone is bullied. It's not just the unpopular kids. This ties in with the novel because Amal and her friends were bullied alot. The reason Tia, the bully in the book, was so mean was probably she was also picked on. I think it's very important the everyone understands the concept of bullying so they can try to do something to end it.