Guest Writer Noella Jeong Recommends Love, Hate, & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
As suggested by the title, this book has it all! Samira Ahmed’s debut novel is realistic fiction which will resonate with many students in your classroom. I have nothing but praise for Love, Hate, & Other Filters, and I feel that it is not only an enjoyable read but also a valuable resource to use with regard to the character development that we aim to foster in our multicultural classrooms.
Maya Aziz is an American-born Indian girl who is learning to maneuver her parents, relationships, life, and (most importantly) her own identity. While Maya’s parents are already sure that her future consists of studying medicine at their hometown college, as well as marrying the proper Muslim boy they’ve chosen for her, Maya has other dreams. She’s passionate about the arts, especially film-making, and what better place to pursue that career than New York City. As for her love life, well there is that someone special…
But when Maya’s town is suddenly rocked by terrorist actions elsewhere, she begins to question everything from society, to loyalty, to the person she truly wants to be. Much of this story is spent in Maya’s thoughts, and this style of writing feels candid and authentic.
As someone for whom multiculturalism is an integral part of family life, I have always had empathy for the many students from various backgrounds in my classes. However, it wasn’t until I read Love, Hate, & Other Filters that I began to truly understand the perspective that my own children and so many students must experience as part of their daily lives. I am so happy that in this novel I was able to find both a mirror and a window!
I am a grade 9 teacher, mother of 4, and an avid reader. I love to explore young adult fiction as a way to connect with my students and to also help guide them in their choices!