Coming to America

By School Library Journal

Unlike Jessica Chalfonte’s I am Muslim and Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith’s Celebrating Ramadan, both of which focus on religion, Wolf’s book looks at the life of an immigrant family from a broader perspective. A lively essay describes the Mahmouds’ arrival in the U.S. from Egypt; how the various family members spend their time at school, work and at home; non-Muslim friends; interest in prototypical American activities such as watching television and playing basketball and attendence at the mosque on Friday… Large excellent-quality color photographs on each spread depict events such as marketing, a birthday celebration and a graduation. Wolf portrays the Mahmouds as individuals rather than as representations; his approach serves the important purpose — especially in a suspicious and stressful time time such as our own — of pointing out that differences of religion do not signify differences in humane behavior, love of family, or appreciation for hard work. Yet, the experience of this family can stand, in some ways, as a representation of the intersection of Islam with the United States.