Huda and Me

H. Hayek

Huda and Me
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Huda and Me

H. Hayek

Huda’s sitting in the airport lounge, fiddling with our tickets. I can tell she’s excited because she has a little smile on her face and she keeps glancing at her pink digital watch. I can’t believe we’re doing this. I can’t believe we’re running away from home. Well, we’re not really running away. We’ll come back. We’re running to our parents. On the other side of the world.

When their parents have to travel to Beirut unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Akeal and his six siblings are horrified to be left behind in Melbourne with the dreaded Aunt Amel as their babysitter. Things do not go well, and Akeal’s naughty little sister, Huda, hatches a bold plan to escape. After stealing Aunt Amel’s credit card to buy plane tickets to Lebanon, Huda persuades her reluctant favourite brother to come with her.

So begins Huda and Akeal’s hair-raising and action-packed journey to reunite with their parents half a world away, in a city they’ve grown up dreaming about but have never seen.

A fresh and funny story of sibling love, adventure and courage, Huda and Me is one of a kind.

‘An irresistible invitation to young readers to embrace a story that is familiar at times, and wonderfully fresh and new at others.’ RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH 

Review

Meet vivacious, courageous, precocious Huda and her quiet, patient, big-hearted older brother Akeal. Their parents were unexpectedly called away to Beirut, leaving them in the hands of their horrible babysitter, Aunt Amel. They have a plan.

Well actually, it’s really Huda’s plan and Akeal is just going along to protect her like a big brother should. Not that Akeal is too sure it’s such a good idea for them to have run away from home, and to be boarding a plane flying to Lebanon alone. What with him being only 12. And Huda … well, Huda is much smaller, and no matter what she may think, someone does need to keep an eye on her. Perhaps their parents will understand, when they show up unexpectedly on the other side of the world, that Aunt Amel was truly awful after all.

This is where H. Hayek’s debut middle-grade novel Huda and Me starts. Hayek’s novel is a cheeky, fun and heartfelt adventure that will have you laughing out loud. It provides a wonderful insight into the lives of a loving Lebanese-Australian family, with all its complex relationships to culture, religion, family and food, as they navigate their adventure both at home and abroad. This tale of sibling love and learning to embrace difference teaches as it entertains, with a fresh fast-paced text and style. Perfect for readers ages 8+.


Claire Atherfold is the manager and the children’s book buyer at Readings State Library.

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