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Going to Mecca by Na'ima B. Robert
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Going to Mecca

by Na'ima B. Robert

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One thing I liked about this book is its poetry format. I think it sets the book apart from other books that talk about Muslim traditions. Students are able to learn about a new writing medium, while at the same time learning about another culture. When I was in school the poetry I learned was supposed to rhyme, but this book shows another way to write poetry and I like that too. Another thing I liked about the book is that it includes extra information on the back page. For example, it mentions The Black Stone, and explains what it is. The message is simple; the Muslim tradition of pilgrimage brings people closer together. This is shown through the words "Strangers, sisters, Strangers, brothers" near the end. ( )
  jserin2 | May 1, 2017 |
An affirming book of the Islamic faith for Muslim children and families, as well as an introduction to those unfamiliar with the religion (there is a short glossary of terms in the back, but background will need to be provided when sharing this story with non-adherents). The illustrations portray believers of all skin shades, subtly informing the reader that Muslims are not of one certain ethnicity or physical appearance. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I liked this book because of its writing and that it pushes readers to broaden their perspectives. On each page of the story, the writing was always found in a different place. Even though the text did not rhyme, it still felt as if I was reading poetry because of how the sentences were arranged and the use capitalization. For example one portion of the text read, “But, even so, their hearts race, And their souls soar high and free, For they have made that journey: Feet in sandals, heads bare, With thousands of others, Strangers, sisters, Strangers, brothers.” I liked how the words flowed, because it made the text sound more descriptive and detailed. The story also included Arabic words and phrases. Even though the writing made sense, I still had a hard time understanding the purpose of the pilgrimage. If the book did not include background information on the last page, I would not have completely understood the story. I feel that this book can help push readers to broaden their perspectives because this book tells a story that is a big part of the Muslim faith. The last page explained that the pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the pillars of the Islamic faith, and why the Hajj is an important story. Lastly, I liked how the story was written, and thought it was well paced. For instance, the text and illustrations were like a guide to me, each page showed a part of the pilgrimage and made me want to keep on reading.
The main idea of this story is to learn about the Hajj faith, and how the pilgrims traveled to Mecca. The events in the book can definitely be believable, if the reader is of the Muslim faith, or chooses to believe in the Hajj. From not knowing anything about the journey to Mecca, this book taught me a lot about the Hajj and Islam culture, and why this story is important to the religion. ( )
  ecahan1 | Apr 11, 2015 |
This book is about tradition and religious journeys. A Muslim family living in London, partakes on the yearly pilgrimage or Hajj, to Mecca, just as Muslims have done for thousands of years. I had mixed feelings about this book. I did not like the fact that it was unclear as to what Hajj was and why they were doing this. I had a little prior knowledge of the tradition, but could not remember the history of it and this book did not provide a clear understanding until after the story. There was a brief history at the end, but I felt that I had to reread the book to understand it better. I did enjoy the illustrations and the way the people were portrayed. For example, the pictures were made from different paper textures and were of all types of Muslims. They were shown with different nationalities, skin color, young, old, active and handicapped. I feel that this would be a good book to follow up a more detailed book on the journey to Mecca and that I would enjoy it more with background knowledge. ( )
  KristyPratt | Mar 23, 2015 |
In my opinion, this is a good book. I feel this way because of the illustrations and the language that was displayed throughout the story. The illustrations depicted the actions the pilgrims were taking through each phase of their journey, perfectly. For example, when arriving at Mecca, the picture shows all of the pilgrims bowing down toward the symbolic monument, praying. This helped me to visualize what exactly the pilgrims do during that time. Also in the images, the pilgrims are all different shades of color, representing peoples from different races. This aided my understanding of the significance the pilgrimage has on so many people. The language throughout the story was extremely descriptive, and captured my attention in wanting to read further. For each phase of the pilgrimage, the author went into great detail about what the people were to do. At the end of the book, the author included a glossary of important Arabic words, and explains what each of them means. The main idea of this story is to teach children about the rituals of Hajj. Though the culture may not suit every child’s religion, it sheds a light on a culture that is practiced by many people, and is interesting to learn about. ( )
  KimKolb | Oct 7, 2014 |
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We are led on the journey of a lifetime to the city of Mecca - the pilgrimage known to Muslims as the Hajj. The pilgrims walk with heads bare and feet in sandals; they call to Allah; they kiss or point to the Black Stone, as the Prophet did. Arriving at Mecca, they surge round the Ka'aba, shave their heads and travel to Mount Arafat. Finally, though their bodies are tired and aching, their spirits are uplifted, knowing that with thousands of others they have performed the sacred pilgrimage. This is a window on to a sacred journey for Muslims the world over - beautifully described and illustrated for younger children.… (more)

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