Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@harperteen @epicreads @moriarty_laura]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:

AMERICAN HEART by Laura Moriarty

Imagine a United States in which registries and detainment camps for Muslim-Americans are a reality.

Fifteen-year-old Sarah-Mary Williams of Hannibal, Missouri, lives in this world, and though she has strong opinions on almost everything, she isn’t concerned with the internments because she doesn’t know any Muslims. She assumes that everything she reads and sees in the news is true, and that these plans are better for everyone’s safety.

But when she happens upon Sadaf, a Muslim fugitive determined to reach freedom in Canada, Sarah-Mary at first believes she must turn her in. But Sadaf challenges Sarah-Mary’s perceptions of right and wrong, and instead Sarah-Mary decides, with growing conviction, to do all she can to help Sadaf escape.

The two set off on a desperate journey, hitchhiking through the heart of an America that is at times courageous and kind, but always full of tension and danger for anyone deemed suspicious.

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I really love when authors take something incredibly current and pertinent and give us a novel centered around (or at least featuring) whatever that is. Especially in the run up to the US presidential election, there was a lot of talk of a Muslim registry or something similar.  It was all justified as 'keeping America safe,' much in the same way that we interred more than 100,000 Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor.

On paper, that may have, technically, seemed like a good idea, too - and a way of keeping people safe. That it was people down to one-sixteenth Japanese, though (which is having one great-great grandparent who was Japanese) and how selectively it was implemented says it was more fear and racism. (And maybe it's only something I think about because of how my family could have been or was affected, but it's something we should all remember happened.)

I like that American Heart seems to draw some parallels (at least in the broadest terms) between what the United States has already done and  what some think we should do now.

Political anythings aside, I am interested in seeing how Sarah-Mary and Sadaf interact, what they can learn from each other and how the long held beliefs of each may be changed.

That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

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