Margin Notes

The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah


We all remember a moment from our childhoods where we started to doubt something we had never questioned before…we also remember how disruptive it was as our minds started unraveling  and challenging what we had previously thought. In The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah, she illustrates this beautifully through a story involving two teenagers around divisive topics such as refugees, religion, and race.

Abdel-Fattah writes using alternating narrators-Michael, the son of educated, wealthy parents who strongly believe in preserving Australia’s dominant white, Judeo-Christian culture, and Mina, who escaped from Afghanistan and was held in a detention centre off of the shores of her new homeland before starting over again.  Their lives collide when they end up at the same high school and as sparks ensue between the two, Michael starts to question if what his parents’ believe is necessarily what he does.

This book masterfully brings to life the headlines across our media feeds and will challenge many young readers to make a decision about where they stand on the issues presented.  The Lines We Cross moves at a brisk pace and pulls students in with a strong plot and characters that are easy to relate to.  The growing attraction/romance between Michael and Mina will give teens a place to see themselves in characters they may not have identified with initially.  This book adds diversity and relevance to our middle and high school bookshelves and could very well be a turning point in thinking for many of our students.

As always, you know your readers best, and who needs what book at what time in their reading lives.


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