My Life Out Loud Life: Mayhem Mission

Publisher: Knights Of

Nine-year-old Yusuf is enduring his boring summer holidays when he learns that his big sister is going to get married. On one hand, this is great news: a wedding is super fun and Yusuf will get to see his favourite cousin Aadam. On the other, it’s terrible news, because without Affa in the house, Yusuf is going to have to become the “man of the house” which sounds an awful lot like a heavy responsibility. And when he discovers that the family have some troubling unpaid debts, Yusuf starts to panic.

In a lightbulb “AHA” moment, Yusuf realises in fact that the best way to get Affa to stay home and not get married is in fact to be the opposite of a responsible man of the house, and sets about sabotaging Affa’s wedding preparations. But is that really the way forward – and is he up to challenging his formidable mum and grandma?

At the heart of this amusing diary-style novel is the story of a little boy who is sad that his beloved big sister is leaving home, perhaps especially so because Affa has been his closest support in a single parent household. There are touching moments here, especially when Yusuf tries to cope with bandaging his eczema at night without Affa’s help. There’s also an insight into how times have changed in some ways for Muslim girls getting married, comparing Affa’s experience to Nanu’s memories.

Overall, this is a very human and sensitive story of a little boy struggling to adapt to change in his family, and a representative look at a modern Islamic family – readable, relatable and accessible for all.

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