Tag Archives: Samira Ahmed

What if…

10 Apr

As a teacher, I generally don’t answer “what if” questions – they can really sidetrack what we are working on in class. As a reader, I love that authors tackle all sorts of “what if” questions.

In Internment, Samira Ahmed explores the question, “What if fear and hatred of ‘the other’ is allowed to fester and grow?”

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Publisher’s Summary: Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.
With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.
Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.
I was a little ticked at Layla’s recklessness in the opening scene, but it certainly sets her up as a character who would progress from small acts of personal rebellion to larger, more public, acts of resistance. Ahmed does a great job showing the fear that keeps detainees compliant and the mounting consequences for won’t comply. She also demonstrates how easily “good people” start to turn a blind eye, but how the strong voice of opponents of oppression can make a difference.
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