Listen, Layla

(1 reviews with an average rating of 4 out of 5)

Publisher: Penguin

Funny, intelligent Layla, born in Sudan but brought up in Australia, wants to be an inventor. However, a shocking message that her grandmother is ill forces her and her family back to Sudan. There, she finds herself caught up in a revolution against the military government, and is confronted with the question: am I Sudanese or Australian?

This powerful book would be a great addition to any school library, regardless of whether the school has a Sudanese population or not. The details of living through both normal life and a revolution in Sudan are convincingly realistic. Moreover, the scenarios are both devastatingly recognisable for anyone who has grown up "between cultures", and educational for those who have not. Layla puts into words what so many caught between conflicting expectations have felt, and, to date, dealt with alone. Happily, books like this now exist to break the silence and isolation.

Readers should be aware that in one scene Layla’s friend is shot (not graphic or lethal), which is why the book is recommended for readers ten years and up.

Arabic words, rendered in the Latin alphabet, are included in the text, with a glossary at the back.

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