A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Book review by Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
A Very Large Expanse of Sea Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Muslim teen busts stereotypes in bitterly funny school tale.

Parents say

age 18+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 14 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 18+

Book good

It's 2002, and 16-year-old Muslim teen Shirin's planning to get through the school year the same way she's gotten through school for years, by not engaging with anybody -- but A VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA, in the form of Ocean, her lab partner, intervenes. Thanks to her striving, upwardly mobile parents, who fled Iran for the United States and never stop working, she's in a new town and a new school every year anyway, so it's not like there's any point making friends. In the wake of an incident at her last school, when 9/11-inflamed hooligans threw her to the ground and tried to rip her hijab from her head, only to go free when a cop essentially said she asked for it, not engaging seems like a really good plan. But then her brother Navid, the popular one, recruits her for a breakdancing team. And she and Ocean fall in love, leading to many misunderstandings between them and a lot of hostility from others.

Book Details

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For kids who love teen romance and tales of the immigrant experieince

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