A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Green Bicycle by Haifaa Al Mansour

Title: The Green Bicycle
Author: Haifaa Al Mansour
Pages: 352
Publisher: Dial Books
ISBN: 9780525428060
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
AR Levels: Book Level - 5.6, Interest Level - 4th-8th grades, Points - 11.0
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24611690-the-green-bicycle

In a nutshell: What Wadjda wants more than anything in the world is something many 11 year old girls want - a bike. But as a girl growing up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Wadjda will face challenges aplenty on her quest for bike ownership.

I'd recommend it to grades: 4 to 7

I'd recommend it to: those who enjoy coming-of-age stories, fans of The Higher Power of Lucky and the Ramona series, and anyone who enjoys learning about other cultures

What I liked most about this book: This book and Wadjda herself both have a lot of heart. From page one, you'll find yourself rooting for her, and at times, she'll have you laughing out loud at her money-making schemes and joking jabs at her friend Abdullah. I also loved that I learned so much about Saudi culture, especially the treatment of women. The book doesn't shy away from discussing those issues, but it does so in a way that is hopeful and lighthearted. Wadjda is equally strong and spunky, and she's not without her flaws either, making her as relatable as the girl next door even if she lives thousands of miles away in a culture that's vastly different from yours. She's one of those characters that you'll miss after you close the cover. 

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): One of Wadjda's most successful entrepreneurial schemes is her mixtape business. The way she discovers a way to record banned music from an antenna on her house and sell the mixtapes to her classmates is both dangerous and clever, and it reminds me of the mixtapes and CDs we used to make in middle school. Oh, Spice Girls. I miss you. ;)

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 4 stars