On the rise of YA in the Arabic world.

From the Guardian:

Paperback mysteries still sell, but in the last five years they have been overtaken by a new wave of well-produced Arabic YA. It hasn’t been easy, says Najjar. In her first young adult novel, Sitt al-Kol, which she intends to translate as Against the Tide, we follow the story of Yusra, a character based on a teen in Gaza who took over her father’s fishing boat in order to support the family.

The male-female relationships in Sitt al-Koll are all chaste, but that hasn’t stopped library and school buyers from complaining about the mild romance between Yusra and a boy called Salem, the supposed bad language (“sons of dogs”), and the father’s smoking. On the other hand, Najjar said, teen readers have asked for her to push harder, in particular to give more details about the relationship. “They were hoping I would marry them off at the end of the story.”

CLEARLY, IT'S RESEARCH TIME.

Related: 2014 finalists for the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature.