Over at YA Literature Adults Should Read, we had a discussion about religion in YA literature. Below is my most recent comments about the subject:
I'm currently reading Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah. It is hilarious and if I remember my teens and looking at my own kids, I'd say the main character Amal, is a believable teenage. In this book, she decides to wear a hijab full-time. She's solidly upper-middle class, educated, Australian born with modern parents. So why does she choose to wear what so many non-Muslims perceive as oppressive? You have to check out the book. It reminds me the assumptions we make about culture and religious faith.
I recently finished reading Purple Hibiscus. I wrote this in another forum.
I started and finished _Purple Hibiscus_ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. An intense coming-of-age story set in Nigeria. How she handles domestic violence, the pysche of the victim and abuser is frighteningly convincing and revealing. She also explores how religion impacts the characters identity and actions without unnecessarily preaching that religion is good or evil. Instead, she illustrates the complexity of faith and the role it plays in our lives.
I think both books are good cases for being in the safe zone for looking at religion in a text without automatically setting off flags. Of course those who are easily offended, may be so by these texts, but I'd argue the more tolerant religious and otherwise secular could appreciate these books.