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Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane

Deep in the Sahara

by Kelly Cunnane

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This book is about a girl named Lalla who wants to wear a malafa just like her mother and sisters wear. This book was beautiful and it teaches so much about Muslim culture and traditions. The illustrations were also so beautiful in this book because it was just so bright and rich.
  mapeck129 | Dec 3, 2017 |
I would use this book as a read aloud for a fourth and fifth grade class because it is a great book to show the students how to practice religious tolerance and introduce students to new vocabulary. With a fourth grade class, I would have the students locate the country of Mauritania on a map and then color it. Then the students will research other countries where the majority of the population practices Islam and the students will color in those countries on their map with the same color as before. Then I will write on the board Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism and have the students research which countries practices these religions and have them color each country the same color if they practice the same religion. I believe this activity will be a great way for students to understand how diverse the world is and that we should all be able to work together despite our religious differences. For a fifth grade class, I would have them split up into groups and each group will be assigned a religion to research. Each group will find a tradition or specific clothing item similar to the Malafa that is mentioned in the book and describe what its significance is and why it is important in that religion. This activity will once again open students eyes to various religions and begin to develop a tolerance and understanding to different religions. ( )
  Jbrochu | Apr 3, 2017 |
I would use this as an independent read for third graders. I chose third grade because the students are able to understand the text and it is an easy read. I would use it for an independent read because not all students, especially boys, are interested in how women earn their garments in the Islamic culture. ( )
  kbellot | Mar 7, 2017 |
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
Deep in the Sahara is a coming of age tale about a young girl that is named Lalla, She wants her own malafa, a traditional head dress, but must find the true meaning of a malafa. She finds at the end of the story that a malafa is for faith.

I think that this story is a great multicultural example of faith in other cultures. This story explains the reasoning behind headdresses and why they are so important to the Muslim faith.

I would offer a writing prompt along with this story to describe how the character grew as the story progressed. ( )
  kmedwa4950 | Nov 15, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375870342, Hardcover)

Lalla lives in the Muslim country of Mauritania, and more than anything, she wants to wear a malafa, the colorful cloth Mauritanian women, like her mama and big sister, wear to cover their heads and clothes in public. But it is not until Lalla realizes that a malafa is not just worn to show a woman's beauty and mystery or to honor tradition—a malafa for faith—that Lalla's mother agrees to slip a long cloth as blue as the ink in the Koran over Lalla's head, under her arm, and round and round her body. Then together, they pray. An author's note and glossary are included in the back of the book. 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:29 -0400)

An Arab girl of the Sahara who wants to wear a malafa, the veiled dress worn by her mother and older sister, learns that the garment represents beauty, mystery, tradition, belonging, and faith.

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