Reviews

Formal Reviews

A Book for Living, Loving, & Learning…

You don’t need to wait until Eid al-Fitr (Sept. 10, 2010) or National Grandparents Day (Sept. 12, 2010) to buy Grandma Lives With Us by Nazli Currim…it’s the perfect book to share with your children, parents, or grandparents any day of the year!  This charming story relates the loving relationships within a Muslim family, especially the ties between a granddaughter & her grandmother.  Illustrated beautifully by Kadhima Tung with watercolor pictures on every page – this book is sure to capture the attention of children as well as adults.   Feedback from the mother of a 5 year-old Pakistani-Canadian girl eloquently conveys the magical nature of this book when she relates, She got really excited when I read the word “Nani”.   And she was in awe of the little girl, Imaan, who got her very own Quran for her birthday.  I think she was happy to be able to relate to a book in that way.  And the way the girl in the story loves and cares for her Nani struck a chord within her.”

Parents too can breathe a sigh of relief upon finally finding that book which balances Islamic morals & values in an easy-to-read format which is both enjoyable and completely relevant to the American Muslim lifestyle.  Quranic quotes and hadiths as well as Islamic terms are sprinkled interestingly throughout the story in so natural a manner that the reader easily picks up important knowledge.    As one Muslim mother puts it, “My husband and I also really liked the message of the story — about taking care of your elders when they are old and weak.  In North America, where nursing homes and senior centers are so common, it’s especially nice to have a book by Muslims that tells everyone about Islam’s caring nature, and strong family values.”

Nazli Currim is an experienced teacher who has tackled a timely subject in a loving manner – as families struggle to combine their independent lifestyles with the challenges of aging parents – she has provided an ideal Muslim template for families to incorporate.  Her expertise with children is evident in the age-appropriate elementary school vocabulary; however older children will also find much to embrace in this feel-good story of family harmony.   In a time when so many stories have little relevance to American Muslims…it’s a relief to discover Grandma Lives With Us, for it gives hope to all of us adults out there…perhaps our children will one day welcome us into their hearts and homes as lovingly as Nazli’s characters do, inshallah!  You can find Grandma Lives With Us on www.Amazon.com ,www.nazlicurrim.com, and local bookstores.

Reviewer Dilara Hafiz is the co-author of The American Muslim Teenager’s Handbook – www.theamth.com

Gilbert Republic Review: GilbertNazli Article.

This beautifully illustrated, wisely told tale fills a much needed gap on the bookshelves of libraries, classrooms, and families with young children. It is at once a child’s loving narration of her grandmother’s final years and a fine presentation of a modern American Muslim family. Both Muslims and mainstream Americans will enjoy it.

Reviewed by Michael Wolfe:
Author, Documentary Film Maker

Grandma Lives With Us is a refreshing breath of air. In our society of nuclear families, many children have never experienced living with a grandparent. However, many first- and second-generation families still retain cultural traditions of respect and love toward their elders. Author Nazli Currim captured in this simple children’s book the essence of a happy family: sacrifice some, give up some, but reap much more. This is a must-read for not only young children, but for young adults as well who might fear the burden and bothers that an older member of the family might bring. Children’s books are supposed to be simplistic. But this book brought tears to my eyes. Which one of us will not reach that age when we are useless to others, yet still yearn for their love and care?

Reviewed by Dr. Fawzia Mai Tung:
Principal of Arizona Cultural Academy for 5 years; homeschooling mother of 7; President of Tung Education Resources

In the story, Grandma Lives With Us, by Nazli Currim, we see a Muslim family as the Muslim community sees itself, caring,loving, instructive, and wise. At a time when the public face of Muslims is swathed in menacing scarves, curiously somehow from both sexes, a glimpse into the embracing heart of a humanized family is both welcome and crucial to our global cultural history. Too often Muslims demeaned or demonized or both, when in fact, behind metal doors in stucco houses in desert terrains, exactly what happens in this family goes on, though the environmental ornaments may differ. The family there might go to a feast instead of to Disneyland, but the joy experienced may be the same. The author is to be thanked for this unifying parable that is both realistic and expressive of all humanity’s ideals.

Reviewed by Daniel Abdal – Hayy Moore:
Poet: Dawn Visions, Burnt Heart/Ode to the War Dead, The Ramadan Sonnets, and The Blind Beekeeper

This is a beautiful and touching story that educates about the cycle and circle of life. It also teaches youngsters about ethnic and religious diversity, introduces them to Islamic beliefs and practices and the philosophy of Montessori education.

Reviewed by Muna Ali:
Doctoral candidate in anthropology and contributing author on Arab and Muslim American in American Ethnic History

Nazli’s experience with children is portrayed through her writing style and her understanding of young children’s thought processes. Grandma Lives With Us is a good blend of universal multi- religious, and multi – generational family values. It smoothly ties together the emotions of love, empathy, and sympathy in carrying out family responsibilities and meeting the needs of ageing parents. Parents and teachers of young children will particularly welcome Imaan’s joy of learning in the Montessori classroom and the inclusion of multi –ethnic cultures and holidays to aid them in instilling acceptance and respect of classmates that are different than them.

Reviewed by Irma Letson:
Administrator, Tempe Montessori School

Nazli Currim has written about two important things: respect and love for the elders, and the family being the basis of society…. Society consists of families. This is an important aspect of Islam. Nazli has written about a little girl called Imaan and her relationship with her grandmother. There is a saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which says, ‘Heaven lies below the feet of your mother.’ The living proof of this saying is the care that Imaan’s parents take when they decide to look after Imaan’s grandmother, and how the little girl’s life and relationship with her grandmother change to accommodate the ailing grandparent. This little book is a recounting of how important family and love within the family are….

Reviewed by Fazal Curmally
Poet, Writer, Contributing Editor of Defence Journal, Karachi, Pakistan

Grandma Lives With Us is a stirring story about how a young girl must face her grandmother’s stroke and learn to help her… It reminded me of how I learned to be patient with my grandparents and spend more time with them. Grandma Lives With Us is a beautiful story and I encourage every family to read it.

Reviewed by Riyah Basha
5th Grade from Arizona

Mrs. Currim’s book is an excellent contribution to the fabric of American culture. Lavishly illustrated, it accurately reflects life in an American Muslim home. The Muslim diaspora in North America from different nations has made and continues to make contributions that are adding to the culture and values of America. In the Muslim tradition, it is imperative that we take care of our parents the same way they took care of us when we were little children. While family life continues to evolve in America and elsewhere, in decades past it was common for grandparents to live in the same home as grandchildren and impart their wisdom and shower their love on them. Mrs. Currim’s book is a timely reminder that teaches children to show respect and love to their elders and receive the same from them. After reading this book, these values will stay with them their entire lives.

Reviewed by Asim Ameer
Contributor to the Arizona Republic

Personal Messages to the Author
Askm. Nazli Aunty,
My daughter Alina loved your book, she uses it for bedtime reading, and in fact keeps it under her pillow. It reminds her of spending time with her grandmother, and it  is one of her favorite books. She definitely relates to the characters in your book. Thanks for writing this  wonderful book that my kids enjoy reading.
 Aysha Chisti, Arizona
Dear Nazli Aunty,
 I read your book for the first time today.  it brought tears to my eyes! There is heartfelt love, care, and concern for the elderly parent !!! Also for those who are sick and/or handicapped.  Your sincere devotion to Allah (swt) and to your mother bursts through the pages.  I was very touched!
love,
Amena Rathore, Arizona
We loved the book! I read to the kids, they read to me, then they read to each other. My father-in-law recently had a stroke couple weeks ago. So, this story really helped explain many things to our children. Thank you so much!
Carmela Gastelu Garcia
Shortly after reading the script for the story, Author Nazli Currim’s granddaughter mailed the following to her grandmother:
“Dear Choti Nani,
You are the best Choti Nani (Younger Nani) ever! I have so much fun with you! I love your story because it reminds me of Per Nani, (Great Grandma). You are so creative and caring…”
Nazli Currim’s granddaughter
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