Sadia by Colleen Nelson | Spoiler Free Review

Updated: Apr 28, 2019

Three female Muslim teenagers must decide how far they are willing to go to defend their beliefs when faced with the pressures of life.

OVERVIEW: This book takes place from the perspective of Sadia, a thirteen year old Muslim girl who’s passionate about basketball. When she makes the coed high school basketball team, her talent speaks for itself. However, she faces multiple prejudices based on what she wears. As she navigates the things important to her with how the world sees her, she learns to stand up for herself and her friends.

“Sadia wants to maintain her Muslim identity and refuses to remove her head covering at a basketball tournament; Amira is a Syrian refugee, reeling from the trauma she experienced when she fled her home; and Nazreen is ready to eschew her Muslim heritage to fit in with the popular crowd at school.”


PROS: This book is a written as a teen fiction, but it tackles issues such as religion, racism, persecution, and trauma that I’ve yet to see written as well of in adult novels. The characters are wonderfully fleshed out, the plot is interesting as it relates to Sadia and her relationships with her friends and family, and I enjoyed reading it.


CONS: While this book is really well written, there is a lack of a plot that can make things a little boring sometimes. The two main settings are the school and home, with an occasional visit to a nearby community center and a university. That can get a little repetitive over time.


CONCLUSION: This is a wonderfully written book with enough interestingly diverse characters that makes it very refreshing to read. I enjoyed reading from Sadia’s perspective, and feel like overall it is a book that one can read of all ages. However, the repetitive plot settings can get a bit drab at times. Overall, I’d rate this book a solid 3 stars.