107 pages 3 hours read

Randa Abdel-Fattah

Does My Head Look Big In This?

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2005

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Does My Head Look Big in This?

  • Genre: Fiction; young adult realistic
  • Originally Published: 2005
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 770L; grades 7-9
  • Structure/Length: 45 chapters; approximately 360 pages; approximately 9 hours on audiobook
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: The protagonist, Amal Mohamed Nasrullah Abdel-Hakim, is a 16-year-old Australian Palestinian Muslim who decides to wear the hijab full-time, navigating the challenges this decision presents in her daily life. The central conflict revolves around her struggle with stereotypes, racism, and identity in a predominantly white high school.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Islamophobia; bullying; racism; cultural misunderstanding; child marriage; terrorism

Randa Abdel-Fattah, Author

  • Bio: Born 1979; Australian Muslim author of Palestinian and Egyptian heritage; holds a PhD in sociology; former lawyer; work often addresses issues of race, multiculturalism, identity, and adolescent life
  • Other Works: Ten Things I Hate About Me (2006); Where the Streets Had a Name (2008); When Michael Met Mina (2016)
  • Awards: Australian Book Industry Award (2006); Shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award (2006)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Guide:

  • Personal Experience of Being a Religious Minority in Contemporary Australia
  • Traditional Beliefs Versus Contemporary Customs
  • Young Women’s Position in Contemporary Society
  • The Complexities of Parent-Children Relationships

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Guide, students will:

  • Explore background information on Islam in Australia and the hijab to increase their engagement with and understanding of Amal in Does My Head Look Big in This?
  • Read/study short paired texts and other resources to deepen their understanding of themes related to Personal Experience of Being a Religious Minority in Contemporary Australia, Traditional Beliefs Versus Contemporary Customs, Young Women’s Position in Contemporary Society, and The Complexities of Parent-Children Relationships.