In the name of God by Paula Jolin

Title: In the name of God
Author: Paula Jolin
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (April 3, 2007)
Source: Library
Setting: Damascus (Syria)
Rating: 4.75 out of 5

My Thoughts:
In the name of God was a very unusual book. It’s how a 17 year old girl, Nadia, turns from being a devout Muslim to a fanatic. It makes us realize that there is a very thin line between the very religious and the fanatic if there are people who know how to exploit it.

Nadia lives in Damascus, Syria with her mother and brother. Nadia just wants to walk the path of God, do whatever he asks and be a good Muslim. But when the conditions in Syria worsen, the conflicts between the Muslims and the Syrian Government are on the rise and American Bombs are attacking the neighboring countries, Nadia is forced to direct her devotion on a path that she thinks will take her directly to heaven.

In the name of God gives us a good insight into how a transformation like this can occur and how people are ready to do anything for religion.

There were some of the arguments that I had to agree made sense. I had to agree with Nadia’s point of view at times. But sometimes, even if I did understand I did not agree with her.

This book could work both ways actually. It could be a great read for American teens to see the world from others eyes. I would like to think most of them already know the consequences of the war but this book would give them an experience of being on the other side of the fence.

On the other hand, I hate to say this, but this book could feed into the psyche of someone who is already on the path of being a fanatic because the arguments in this book are good on both sides. But as we all know, people see what they want to. I just hope what I’m saying is wrong because this book is good and deserves a wider readership.

One more thing, it’s a YA book but I don’t know what else can be called a cross over, if not this.

Note: You need to know the basics of Syrian history. Just Google a bit and you’re set to go.