Fatima Sharafeddine The Servant

ISBN 13: 9781554983070

The Servant

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9781554983070: The Servant

Faten’s happy life in her village comes to an abrupt end when her father arranges for her to work as a maid for a wealthy Beirut family with two spoiled daughters. What does a bright, ambitious 17-year-old do when she is suddenly deprived of her friends, family, education, and freedom? Enlisting the help of Marwan, the mysterious, wealthy young man who lives in the next apartment building, Faten finally figures out how to pursue her studies in secret. Even against the uncertain backdrop of the civil war, their romance develops, as Marwan and Faten conspire to exchange notes and meet at an idyllic seaside café. But in Lebanese society the differences in religion, class, and wealth are stacked against them, and their parents have very different ideas about what their futures should be. An engaging and lucidly written coming-of-age novel.

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About the Author:

Fatima Sharafeddine was born in Beirut and spent her early childhood in Sierra Leone. Her family returned to Lebanon when she was still a child, and she spent fifteen years living through the Lebanese civil war, moving from city to city, school to school. After receiving a B.A. in Early Childhood Education, she moved to the United States to pursue her graduate studies. She earned a Masters degree in education and another in Arabic literature. She has taught preschool in Houston, Texas, and Arabic language and culture classes at Rice University. She now divides her time between Beirut and Brussels, where she writes and translates full time. Fatima is an active member of the Lebanese section of IBBY (LBBY). She has written more than eighty books for young children. The Maid is her first work for young adults. She has twice been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and she has won a number of awards and honors in the Arab region. She divides her time between Beirut and Brussels.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 8 Up–Forced to supplement her family's income, Faten must leave behind her village, friends, and schooling to work as a maid in Beirut for a family with two daughters and an unkind, demanding housewife. As she goes about her daily chores, she dreams of returning to school and becoming a nurse in the war-torn city. With the aid of another housekeeper in her building, she seeks help from an admired stranger in the building across the street. Marwan not only facilitates the testing Faten will need to enter college, but he also becomes her clandestine love interest. The teen's plans suddenly come to a halt when her employer discovers that she has lied to them about the days she spent away from work to take her baccalaureate exams. Suddenly, Faten is unemployed and sent back to her hometown where she must convince her angry father that investing in her education will bring the family more money than she makes as a housekeeper. Faten creates an ambitious and independent plan to continue her studies and return to Beirut. This quick, straightforward, Cinderella story mirrors the plight of young girls all over the world who are forced to sacrifice their own goals to support their families. However, this modern-day fairy tale abandons the prince as the problem solver and instead features a heroine whose talent, work ethic, and ambition break the spell of servitude and poverty.–Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MDα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Sharafeddine, Fatima
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Sharafeddine, Fatima
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