A Very Large Expanse of Sea

320p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Oct. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062866561.
Gr 9 Up—Shirin, a headscarf-wearing, break-dancing, foul-mouthed 16-year-old, refuses to be constrained by anyone's expectations. Hardened by the bigotry she has endured in the year since the 9/11 terror attacks, she's withdrawn, counting down the days until graduation, when she can escape her narrow-minded suburban enclave. When Shirin is forced to become lab partners with Ocean, a popular basketball player with whom she seemingly has nothing in common, she learns to embrace acceptance where she least expects it. This evocative semiautobiographical novel challenges assumptions about why some Muslim women cover their hair and conveys the innocence and passion of first love.

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