cover image I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister

Amélie Sarn, trans. from the French by Y. Maudet. Delacorte, $15.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-385-74376-1

In short anguished chapters, 18-year-old Sohane narrates scenes from the weeks before and months after the brutal murder of her younger sister, Djelila. Raised in an Algerian Muslim family living in Paris, the two girls seek to establish their identity in different ways: the observant Sohane decides to challenge the 2004 French law against wearing religious symbols in school, while Djelila’s western clothes and makeup incite neighborhood thugs, ostensibly policing female virtue, to call her a whore. While Djelila defends her sister’s choice (“She tried to explain the paradox that shocked her: how I was required to remove my head scarf at school, while others in our housing project wanted girls to be more traditional and conservative in their attire”), Sohane regrets her own judgmental feelings, which kept her from being her sister’s ally. French author Sarn includes a glossary of Arabic words and terms related to Islam, as well as a note about the real-life event that inspired this moving story, which provides rich material for conversation about family relations, religious identity, and civil liberties. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)