Muhammad: The Story of a Prophet and Reformer

Sarah Conover. Skinner House (Red Wheel/Weiser, dist.), $14 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-55896-704-5
Conover, author of multiple religion books including the prize-winning Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs: A Treasury of Islamic Wisdom for Children and Parents, adds herself to the growing list of biographers of the Prophet Muhammad. Her approach has a twist, though: aiming at teen readers, she adds imaginative, descriptive details and writes narratively—a departure from straightforward exposition. Conover makes an effort to include accurate sayings and customs (hadith) of Muhammad, interspersed with details of desert life. Stories well known to Muslims, such as how a spider at a cave’s mouth saved Muhammad’s life, and how Muhammad’s camel picked the location of the prophet’s Medina house, shore up areas where she took poetic liberties in, for example, dialogue. Carefully separating the facts from the liberties in an appendix, which also includes a time line and glossary, Conover ends her tale with the arrival of Muhammad in Medina, marking the beginning of the Islamic calendar. In her talented hands, Muhammad’s story stays rooted in tradition, but takes on new dimensions that all readers, even seasoned ones, will appreciate and enjoy. Ages 12–up. (Sept.) ■
Reviewed on: 07/15/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-1-55896-705-2
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