A Very Large Expanse of Sea

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Book - 2018 | First edition
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A year after 9/11, Muslim teenager Shirin has completely withdrawn from social life, until she meets Ocean James in her biology class and is tempted to actually let her guard down.
2002. A year after 9/11, it's an extremely turbulent time politically for Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who's tired of being stereotyped. She's tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments, even the physical violence she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. Now she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother. When she meets Ocean James., he seems to want to get to know Shirin. They seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds -- and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she's not sure she'll ever be able to let it down. -- adapted from jacket
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062866561 (hardcover)
0062866567 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: Y MAFI
Characteristics: 310 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Mafi (Whichwood , 2017) tackles the life of an American Muslim teenager in the wake of 9/11 in this visceral, honest novel

Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

From the critics

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Jan 24, 2019

I love that Shin is angry. I love that Shin chooses to put up walls and has to deal, at least a little bit, with what that means when she doesn't quite pay *enough* attention to the stuff outside those walls.

Most of all, I love that this feels real. It feels complete. The romance is a little on the soppy insta-love side -- but really, teens can feel that way for sure. It doesn't feel unrealistic (even if it doesn't feel like it'd last forever).

This book was great. Heartbreaking and soothing and powerful and inspirational all at once.

And I really just want to learn to breakdance now.

Jan 17, 2019

is an eye-opening story about the realities of what it's like to grow up Muslim in the United States, especially if you wear the hijab. I really enjoyed Shirin's character: she's strong, witty, and intelligent and just as flawed and complex as any other teen. I do genuinely hope Netflix or Hulu picks this up for a film, especially for the break-dancing scenes.

OPL_AutumnH Aug 08, 2018

One of my favorite reads of 2018 so far. I loved Shirin. You cannot help but sympathize with the tough demeanor she presents - the way people let their fear turn to prejudice and hatred made me so angry. Bonus points for wonderful Muslim American representation and break dancing!


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JCLEmilyD Dec 28, 2018

"...you sacrificed my comfort just to make yourself seem progressive. You put me in that shitty situation because you thought it would be shocking and exciting." (p.123-124)

JCLEmilyD Dec 27, 2018

"People struggled to believe this, because people struggled to believe women in general. It was one of the greatest frustrations of my life."


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