’10 Things I Hate about Me’ is a young adult novel by an Australian author Randa Abdel-Fattah. This book, like many other of her books, tells of a story that covers topics ondiscrimination and racism towards Muslims and other diverse ethnic backgrounds aswell as teenage life. 10 Things I Hate About Me is a story on a Lebanese-Muslim teenagegirl, 16 year old Jamilah (aka Jamie) Towfeek who takes on another identity at school toavoid teenage problems that include racism and rejection at school. Some themes of thebook are racism, freedom and courage.My first and main theme of this novel is racism.
Racism takes a very huge role in thisbook. At school, Jamilah hears a lot of racist and rude comments from classmatesespecially from Peter Clarkson, the most popular boy at school, who is known for hisbullying, teasing and funny jokes. He tends to every now and then bring up racist jokes.The school is divided in backgrounds so the Anglo kids (who are popular) like to tauntthe non-Anglo kids.
To fit in, Jamilah takes another name, dyes her hair blond and wearsblue contacts. At home and at Arabic school, she fits in more.My second theme is freedom. Everyone deserves freedom, right? Well, Jamilah has ahard time having freedom.
Because of her mother’s death, her father is in charge.Jamilah’s dad has many curfew rules and he is very overprotective person. He letsJamilah’s bother, Bilal do whatever he wants. Jamilah is always in the middle of fightsbetween her father and either her older sister or Bilal. Jamilah feels free when talking toJohn, an email friend she met. She tells him her deepest secret like hiding her identity.John is later found to be Timothy, the school loner in her class who isn’t affected fromPeter’s comments and replies back witty responses that belittle Peter.
Jamilah andTimothy both share their feelings and are able to be free.The last and final theme of this book is courage. Jamilah faces many difficulties both atschool and at home. She faces many challenges with courage such as confronting herfather every time to let her be free and to be able to do things like everyone else.Jamilah’s dad always think whenever there is a party, there are always drugs, alcoholand many dangerous things which is why he doesn’t allow Jamilah to go to her Year 10formal. Jamilah is very brave to stand up and tell him that she is mature enough to go tothese things. At the formal, Jamilah expresses herself freely in her cultural no matterwhat happens and confronts Peter.
With courage, she tells off him and for a moment,she is finally the girl who she was meant to be, Jamilah Towfeek.Overall, this novel’s main three themes are racism, freedom and courage. Comparing thebook to world situations is very similar. People everyday deal with racism and somepeople around the world find it difficult to seek freedom such as living poverty. Courageis also need in a human’s self-attribute to take on life challenges like Jamilah did at ayoung age. 10 Things I Hate About Me is a very enjoyable and interesting book tounderstand.