book review: Ask Me No Questions
author: Marina Budhos
date: 2006; Scholastic
main character: Nadira Hossain
Ask Me No Questions is a story of crossing borders: crossing into Canada, into America and even into adulthood. While some are more visible than others, borders are often manmade and the source of conflict.
Nadira tells us her family comes from the edge of water, from Bangladesh where the British drew borders that disrupted her family’s homeland and caused them to have to leave. They sought refuge in the United States but 9/11 creates a very difficult situations for men from Muslim countries and they decide to make what becomes an unsuccessful crossing into Canada. The family becomes separated as Nadira and her sister, Aisha, are sent back to live with relatives while her father is held in detention and her mother stays in a shelter near her husband. The situation tests the strength of each person’s character as some rise to the occasion and others whither. While Budhos blames British colonialism for today’s immigrant issues, she places solutions in the hands of youth.