Why is a girl forbidden to read or receive an education? This story about a Muslim girl bound by traditional Islamic customs but who yearns for something more explores women’s rights, freedom, religion, and identity.
In the Libyan city of Ghadames, Malika watches her merchant father depart on one of his caravan expeditions. She too yearns to travel to distant cities, and longs to learn to read like her younger brother. But nearly 12 years old, and soon to be of marriagable age, Malika knows that—like all Muslim women—she must be content with a more secluded, more limited life. Then one night a stranger enters her home . . . someone who disrupts the traditional order of things—and who affects Malika in unexpected ways.
“I was enchanted by this story of a brave Berber girl who dares to dream and its filigree of details about harem life, ancient trade routes, goddesses and healers. The real beauty of The Shadows of Ghadames is that it transcends the exotic to explore universal truths about the condition of being human.”—Suzanne Fisher Staples, author of the Newbery Honor Book Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind
*“Stolz invigorates her tale with elegant prose and a deft portrayal of a girl verging on adolescence. The vivid backdrop is intoxicating, but the story’s universal concerns will touch readers most.”—Booklist, Starred
From the Hardcover edition.