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Friday, January 25, 2008

A Moving Post From a Reader

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ask Me No Questions is the kind of book you can't stop reading.
Angelina Gonzales

When I first started reading the book, I felt like this was something I had heard before. My husband is from Africa and he had so many stories to tell me when we were dating nine years ago. I found the book to be intriguing. It kept me wanting to get to the next chapter to see what would happen. Marina Budhos is a great author.
Doris Oyinkolade

I loved Ask Me No Questions because of the way Marina Budhos wrote about the sisters. In the beginning of the book, Aisha was selfish and Nadira was laid-back and a little bit lazy. But at the end, it was Nadira who excelled and helped her sister.
Max Predestin, Haiti

Ask Me No Questions reminded me of all the long-time stories I heard from of other countries as well as Jamaica. My heart feels sympathy for those who want an opportunity to better their lives. I was happy for the reprieve the family in the book got.
Brenton Whittaker, Jamaica

This is a story that one seldom--if ever--hears: when we think of the events of 9/11 and the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, we most often think of the impact of these actions on American citizens; Budhos' novel tells of the impact of the attack on non-Americans--specifically, illegal Muslim aliens and their families. When, in an attempt to gain asylum in Canada, Nadira's father is detained by the U.S. office of Homeland Security, Nadira's mother decides to stay near his detention facility in Vermont while Nadira and her sister, Aisha, are sent back to New York to live with relatives. Though the family has been living in the U.S. illegally since Nadira was seven years old, only recently have they started to feel the real pressures of American hatred of illegals, specifically Muslim illegals. This short novel is rich with feeling; Budhos presents a side of American life most of us don't (or won't) see and manages to engender sympathy without overwhelming romance. Though the focus of the novel is on Nadira and her sister's attempts to continue life "as normal" while communicating with lawyers, INS and a loose network of other aliens about their father and his status, Budhos works in the ethical issue of detainment and the treatment of detainees. Just as she shuns romance in her depiction of Nadira's situation, Budhos also presents information about detainment even-handedly, substituting overt moralizing for grim but quiet depiction of truths. The recent news from Abu-Gihrab regarding the unethical treatment of prisoners is the obvious lead-in to this novel. That Budhos gets us to see beyond our national myopia regarding 9/11 is remarkable as well, but potentially incendiary.

--From Young Adult Literature without Apology: Amy's assessment of contemporary young adult literature, organized by author and title, censored by no one.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Letters from Readers

In the past couple of months, I've received amazing letters from readers of Ask Me No Questions, some of which I will share:

Dear Ms. Budhos,

Currently I was reading an Indian newspaper India Abroad and came upon an article about your new book Ask me no questions.

Reading the summary all I could feel was gratitude towards you for writing about such a deep subject. I myself have been through the same trauma as the sisters have.

Living in a good life in the queens I suddenly had to move and that was when I was 11(I am 14 now). I had to stay in the INS or something like that and had to sleep next to the toilet that some of the officers used. Seriously, I mean right next to the toilet. I had been through some tough times and your book deeply touched me that there are people out their who feel for us. Now living in Canada for three years I have got my life back on track and am currently learning French. Spending my whole life with Americans and Canadians after the sept 11 I have gotten more close to my Muslim culture and it has made me stronger. Before my favorite author was J.K Rowling but after hearing about your book….and buying it (I am just starting) I have come across an author who can write about mature matters to youth of today and teach them about realities that they may not know. They may not know the girl who sits in front of them in math class has gone threw tough maybe they may never face. I just wrote this e-mail to thank-you for being an inspiration.

Dear Marina,

I just finished reading your book and I want to thank you for so beautifully capturing the sentiments of "the children waiting to be seen." I am a family physician and care for many Hispanic immigrants and their children. I constantly worry about their safety and their futures. The sheriff in my county has essentially declared war on illegal aliens, specifically targeting the Hispanics ... as if they were nothing but dogs overruning the streets.

You have done an excellent job of putting the human side of this problem in words. I just wish some of our politicians would read your book ...

I hope to share your book with my medical students and residents, many of whom plan to work with the medically underserved in the future. (And I may just send a copy to the sheriff!)


Candy Ireton, MD
Volunteer Assistant Professor
University of Cincinnati Department of Family Medicine

This is an amazing book that captures the true story behind immigration and the injustice that Muslims faced because of 9-11-01. Asides from capturing the immigration problems, it also captures the history of Bangladeshis and the Partition very well. The theme of the novel reminds me of Anne Frank's last words "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart."
--Samyuktha ShivRaj
marina budhos
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A Moving Post From a Reader

Ask Me No Questions is the kind of book you can't ...

Letters from Readers

December 2006

January 2008

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