Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin's Hijab
Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin's Hijab
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Annotation: In this middle-grade graphic novel, Nisrin will have to rely on faith, friends, and family to help her recover after she... more
Catalog Number: #301136
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 224
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-419-74019-9 Perma-Bound: 0-8000-0298-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-419-74019-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8000-0298-5
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Presenting a perspective and experience rarely seen in graphic novels for middle-grade students, debut Bangladeshi American Huq tells the story of Muslim teen Nisrin, who experiences a wide range of Islamophobia in the early 2000s. Set in Oregon, the story begins with a horrifically violent hate crime that leaves Nisrin physically hurt and traumatized, and it continues with the chronicling of the many discriminatory acts that she faces at her new high school. In an effort to heal, she decides to wear the hijab and learn more about Islam, but in doing so, she learns painful truths about her own family's relationship with the religion. Some young readers may find the discrimination Nisrin faces difficult to take in, especially since Huq does an outstanding job of using expressive characters and color to present the harshness of her experience. But the story is buoyed by quiet moments of beauty and an uplifting ending that emphasizes the crucial role supportive friends and family can play in helping young people face trauma and move toward healing.
Kirkus Reviews
After a traumatic experience, Nisrin decides to wear a hijab; however, the road to asserting her identity is not that simple.It’s 2002 in Oregon, and anti-Muslim sentiments are on the rise. Muslim Bangladeshi American Nisrin and her best friend, Firuzeh, who is cued as Iranian and Black, become victims of a gruesome hate crime at the end of eighth grade. Afterward, Nisrin, who lives with her single mother and maternal grandparents, slowly recuperates physically and mentally. When she enters high school, Nisrin decides to wear the hijab, partly as an act of resistance. This is met with a mix of concern and strong disapproval, especially from her domineering grandfather. Neither Nisrin’s mother nor grandmother are hijabi, and Nisrin herself only starts actively learning about Islam after this point. She struggles at school with discrimination from teachers and fellow students alike, made worse because Firuzeh seems to be avoiding her as well. As family tensions rise, Nisrin learns more about her family’s past and Bangladeshi history, context that helps her understand her family’s complicated feelings about her decision. This gripping graphic novel is fast-paced and dramatic, with full-color illustrations that intensify the heightened emotions. The darkness is tempered by a happy ending, with friendships—both old and new—blossoming, a family growing closer, and a teenager finding more peace in her own skin.Remarkable storytelling presents a multilayered struggle around identity and power in an anti-Muslim climate. (information about Bangladesh) (Graphic fiction. 13-16)
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Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 5-9

In this middle-grade graphic novel, Nisrin will have to rely on faith, friends, and family to help her recover after she is the target of a hate crime

Nisrin is a 13-year-old Bangladeshi-American girl living in Milwaukie, Oregon, in 2002. As she nears the end of eighth grade, she gives a presentation for World Culture Day about Bangladesh while wearing a traditional cultural dress. On her way home, she is the victim of a hate crime when a man violently attacks her for wearing a headscarf.

Deeply traumatized by the experience, Nisrin spends the summer depressed and isolated. Other than weekly therapy, Nisrin doesn’t leave the house until fall arrives and it’s time for her to start freshman year at a new school. The night before class starts, Nisrin makes a decision. She tells her family she’s going to start wearing hijab, much to their dismay. Her mother and grandparent’s shocked and angry reactions confuse her—but they only strengthen her resolve.

This choice puts Nisrin on a path to not only discover more about Islam, but also her family’s complicated relationship with the religion, and the reasons they left Bangladesh in the first place. On top of everything else, she’s struggling to fit in at school—her hijab makes her a target for students and faculty alike. But with the help from old friends and new, Nisrin is starting to figure out what really makes her happy. Piece by Piece is an original graphic novel about growing up and choosing your own path, even if it leads you to a different place than you expected.

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