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Samira Surfs



by
Rukhsanna Guidroz
illustrated by
Fahmida Azim

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Penguin Random House
Imprint
Kokila
ISBN
9781984816191
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Xenophobia , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur , Violence: General
$16.80
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A middle grade novel-in-verse about Samira, an eleven-year-old Rohingya refugee living in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, who finds peace and empowerment in a local surf club for girls.

Samira thinks of her life as before and after: before the burning and violence in her village in Burma, when she and her best friend would play in the fields, and after, when her family was forced to flee. There’s before the uncertain journey to Bangladesh by river, and after, when the river swallowed her nana and nani whole. And now, months after rebuilding a life in Bangladesh with her mama, baba, and brother, there’s before Samira saw the Bengali surfer girls of Cox’s Bazar, and after, when she decides she’ll become one.

Samira Surfs, written by Rukhsanna Guidroz with illustrations by Fahmida Azim, is a tender novel in verse about a young Rohingya girl’s journey from isolation and persecution to sisterhood, and from fear to power.Author’s note. Suggestions for further reading. Black-and-white illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Xenophobia , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur , Violence: General

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

416

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

4.3: points 5

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Oct 2021

Book Genres

Sports

Topics

Rohingya (Burmese people). Muslims. Refugees. Surfing. Bangladesh. Family life. Friendship. Burma. Myanmar. Competition.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-8–It’s been three months since 11-year-old Samira and her family fled persecution in their homeland of Burma; three months since they paid a man to board a boat to cross the Naf River, seeking safety and a better life in Bangladesh; and three months since that same river swallowed her grandparents alive and dragged them to the bottom of the sea. In Bangladesh, Samira and her family do their best to make a life as unregistered refugees living outside of the refugee camps: Samira sells hard-boiled eggs along the beach to tourists; her brother cleans dishes and tables at a local café, and her father performs grueling work on shrimping boats. As refugees, they face resentment, suspicion, and threats of violence by some members of the local Bengali population, who view them as competition for scarce resources. Meanwhile, Samira struggles to pursue her own dreams, which conflict with her parents’ cultural expectations. New friendships along the beach offer community and the opportunity to surf, an activity that gives Samira freedom and the chance to face and overcome her fears. Written in verse, this well-paced novel weaves Burmese history and the plight of the Rohingya, a persecuted predominately Muslim ethnic minority. Characters are multidimensional and are portrayed with nuance and empathy. Illustrations offer additional texture and help bring the plot to life. Although this is a work of fiction, it will hopefully inspire readers to learn more about the “surfer girls of Bangladesh,” the Rohingya people, and Southeast Asian history. VERDICT A compelling novel that spotlights the history and contemporary circumstances of the Rohingya while tackling universal themes of friendship, belonging, and identity. Pair with other works about trailblazing young women, such as Julie Abery’s Yusra Swims or a biography of ­Malala Yousafzai.–Mahasin A. Aleem, ­Oakland P.L., CA

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-8–It’s been three months since 11-year-old Samira and her family fled persecution in their homeland of Burma; three months since they paid a man to board a boat to cross the Naf River, seeking safety and a better life in Bangladesh; and three months since that same river swallowed her grandparents alive and dragged them to the bottom of the sea. In Bangladesh, Samira and her family do their best to make a life as unregistered refugees living outside of the refugee camps: Samira sells hard-boiled eggs along the beach to tourists; her brother cleans dishes and tables at a local café, and her father performs grueling work on shrimping boats. As refugees, they face resentment, suspicion, and threats of violence by some members of the local Bengali population, who view them as competition for scarce resources. Meanwhile, Samira struggles to pursue her own dreams, which conflict with her parents’ cultural expectations. New friendships along the beach offer community and the opportunity to surf, an activity that gives Samira freedom and the chance to face and overcome her fears. Written in verse, this well-paced novel weaves Burmese history and the plight of the Rohingya, a persecuted predominately Muslim ethnic minority. Characters are multidimensional and are portrayed with nuance and empathy. Illustrations offer additional texture and help bring the plot to life. Although this is a work of fiction, it will hopefully inspire readers to learn more about the “surfer girls of Bangladesh,” the Rohingya people, and Southeast Asian history. VERDICT A compelling novel that spotlights the history and contemporary circumstances of the Rohingya while tackling universal themes of friendship, belonging, and identity. Pair with other works about trailblazing young women, such as Julie Abery’s Yusra Swims or a biography of ­Malala Yousafzai.–Mahasin A. Aleem, ­Oakland P.L., CA

Grades 5-8
Sports Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

An action-packed level devoted exclusively to sports. These fiction and nonfiction selections are sure to be a hit with your middle-school sports fans. And the hits arrive each month with this 12 book category.

14 books per Year
$284.62 per Year
Interests
Biographies,Chapter Books/Novels,Diversity,Fiction,History,Nonfiction,Reluctant Readers,Realistic Fiction,Sports
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Grades 5-8
Sports Middle Plus
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