normal... those are most definitely the words that describe Sophia Ahmed, the young Muslim heroine of Sophia's Journey: Time Warp 1857.
During a bike ride with her family near Lawrence, Kansas, anxiety-ridden Sophia falls into a river and is washed downstream. She emerges in 1857 - smack in the middle of Bleeding Kansas. Sophia is aghast to find that slavery is going on in her adopted community, and she and begins to fight for the freedom of the slaves she knows. A local boy captures Sophia's heart, but when he proposes marriage, Sophia is torn about marrying outside her faith. An old Gambian slave, who is still a closet Muslim, helps her work out her fears, and this causes an exciting, dangerous and unexpected turn of events.
The author researched historical types of food, clothing and the way of life in 1857 Kansas, USA. Readers will love learning about the way of life early frontier settlers lived. The book has a glossary and some unique recipes that are specific to the book's period in history. This book will be a welcome addition to any Language Arts reading and/or American History program.
About the Author
Najiyah Diana Helwani is a teacher and freelance writer whose published credits include poetry and magazine and newspaper articles. Sophia's Journey: Time Warp 1857 is the first book in a planned historical fiction series and her first published Islamic fiction novel. Raised on the windswept prairies of Kansas, Najiyah's love of her American roots blends beautifully with her Islamic faith, and she strives to show people that the two are not mutually exclusive. Najiyah currently teaches English in Damascus, Syria, where she lives with her husband and six children. When she is in the USA she conducts workshops on Islam and the history of USA relations with the Middle East. www.MuslimWritersPublishing.com
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"I just read Sophia's Journal and I have to say, it's really a creative way to learn about American history! It's action packed and very unique and I would recommend it to teens and adults alike. Masha Allah, it was so good, I read it all in one sitting.
Congrats to the author and publisher." - Iman Kouvalis, Optimize It. Designs
"Subhan'Allah! I just finished reading "Sophia's Journal" and I'm in tears. What a wonderful story. It might take me a few minutes to recover enough to write anything coherent about it, but there will _certainly_ be a favorable review... Thank you for sending it to me." - Tiel Aisha Ansari, writer
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read for adults and non-Muslims, November 12, 2009
By J. Hayes
In spite of the fact that this book is described as Islamic Teen Fiction, it's just a good story. Najiyah Diana Helwani accurately depicts life in pre-Civil War Kansas. Her time-travel tale is well written, with vivid characters and a story that describes good people making hard moral choices under difficult circumstances. It is, quite simply, an excellent read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and historically accurate, April 9, 2008
By Freda C. Shamma "curriculum consultant" (Cincinnati Ohio)
Finally, a well written novel about a teenage Muslim! After Sophia hits her head and wakes up in pre- civil war Kansas, this modern American Muslim has to figure out how to live as a practicing Muslim in a society that has never heard of Muslims. Fortunately for her, a good Christian family takes her in and helps her adjust while accepting that she prays differently and wears a scarf out of religious conviction.
This is also an excellent historical novel with careful attention to accurately portraying "bloody Kansas" as the state struggles to decide whether it is a free or slave state. I recognized my older Missouri relatives in the novel's characters as otherwise exemplary folks easily accepting the prejudices of slave owners, and others who didn't approve but hesitated to get involved.
-- From Amazon.com