Safia Dirie is a teenage girl living in East London with her mother, Hoyo, and two older brothers, Ahmed and Abdullahi. Though she was born in Somalia, she doesn’t really remember it — Safia’s a London girl, through and through. But now, after 12 long years, her father, Abo, has returned to the family from war-torn Mogadishu. Safia knew things would change, but nothing could have prepared her for the reality of dealing with Abo’s cultural expectations. Or that Ahmed, her favorite brother, would start to run wild.
And she herself certainly didn’t expect to find her cousin Firdous’ party-girl lifestyle so tempting. Safia must come to terms with who she is — as a Muslim, as a teenager, as a poet, as a friend, but most of all, as a daughter to a father she’s never known. Rooted in Somali and Muslim life, this poignant and beautifully written novel about one girl’s quest to find her own place in the world strikes a chord with young readers everywhere.