I Recently read and really enjoyed this book by author Melati Lum. A Nancy drew esque story but for the modern era with a young kick ass muslim protaganist. The story features Ayesha Dean ( a hijab wearing young muslim girl) and her 2 friends on holiday in Istanbul, they buy an old book in the grand bazaar as a present and realise it has a hidden compartment that sets them off on a great mystery.
The thing that really stands out for me in this book is the quality of the characters, they are all really relatable and I like that our heroine is different from what we normally see in young adult fiction. I think a lot of young people of any race could feel a strong affinity for Ayesha and her friends. I also liked that although Ayesha is a devout young muslim girl, she has other facets such as a liking for martial arts. This for me really shows the main character to be a truer reflection of a modern teenager, balancing their faith and their other interests well.
The Setting of Istanbul for this mystery is an excellent one because it is a beautiful city full of historical places that could be used as hiding places and its a great mixture of western and asian cultures. Although I hope future books in the series see Ayesha solving mysteries in Australia and other places around the world too. I think there is a great future for this young character and Melati as an author.
What I intend to do now is to share this blog, as widely as possible and to tell people both at the school I work at and as many others as I can reach because I think my duty as a reader is to spread this great new character to as many young people as possible, the little bit of 13 year old me I can still connect with is telling me I have too, because she would have loved a book like this too.