Written by Rukhsana Khan
Publication Date May 01, 2009
Winner of the Middle East Book Award, Youth Fiction category
Jameela lives with her mother and father in Afghanistan. Despite the fact that there is no school in their poor, war-torn village, and Jameela lives with a birth defect that has left her with a cleft lip, she feels relatively secure, sustained by her faith and the strength of her beloved mother, Mor.
But when Mor suddenly dies, Jameela's father impulsively decides to seek a new life in Kabul. He remarries, a situation that turns Jameela into a virtual slave to her demanding stepmother. When the stepmother discovers that Jameela is trying to learn to read, she urges her father to simply abandon the child in Kabul's busy marketplace. Jameela ends up in an orphanage.
Throughout it all, it is the memory of Mor that anchors her and in the end gives Jameela the strength to face her father and stepmother when fate brings them into her life again.
Winner of the Middle East Book Award 2009
Long-listed for the CYBIL Awards 2009
Selected for the SSLI Honor Book 2009
Selected for the USBBY Outstanding International Books 2010
Selected for the IRA Notable Books for a Global Society 2010
Selected for the Capitol Choices Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens 2010
Short-listed for the Muslim Writers Awards Childrens Book 2011
Rukhsana Khan is an award-winning author and storyteller. Born in Lahore, Pakistan, she is an expert on books with international and Muslim themes. She has presented at schools and communities across Canada and the US, as well as at the 2006 ALA Conference in New Orleans and the 2008 IBBY Congress in Denmark. Her book, Wanting Mor won the Middle East Book Award. Rukhsana lives in Toronto with her family.
"...[T]he storyteller's descriptive language is lovely... Her characters are realistic...Young readers' eyes will be opened to life in another culture. Teens will enjoy this book, especially if the liked Three Cups of Tea..." VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"...Khan's account of [Jameela's] life...makes for good reading. As narrator, Jameela looks out in the world of Islamic Afghanistan from behind her chador, and it is her perspective...of that world that gives this book both its immediacy and its singularity." Globe and Mail
"...The unique hero sees open roads, where others might only squint at dead ends." Children's Book News
"A searing opening chapter...will draw readers into [Jameela's] story...[Readers] will certainly sympathize with her and rejoice in the ultimate outcome." Horn Book