Huda and Me


Huda and Me are Huda and her older brother Akeal. Not only have they found their passports, hidden in the bottom of Dad’s wardrobe, but they’ve stolen Aunt Amel’s credit card. They are heading to Beirut, where Mama and Baba have travelled to care for Mama’s mother.

Their parents entrusted Aunt Amel, whom Mama believed was the closest person to family they had in Melbourne, Australia, to look after the children. However Aunt Amel’s plans are for a holiday. This means a role for each child, from chauffeur to personal groom, bakers and cleaner and butler! Worse is she’s seemingly kidnapped their baby brother so they have no access to him. What’s more, the children are denied early morning prayers, and forced awake to begin work before dawn! Although Akeal attempts to share what is happening with his teacher, their situation is brushed away. Then again, Aunt Amel insists Huda was sleepwalking when she discovers her at their neighbour’s door!

Will Huda and Akeal’s plan work? Then again, if they make it to Beirut, what might they find?

Huda and Me is a pacy, bold, clever and funny adventure story, from Melbourne to Beirut, with a lot more in between!

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Huda and Me


(Allen & Unwin)

Akeal delights in his family from big brother Omar and big sister Kholoud, to sweet baby Raheed. However Hudu’s place is firmest in his heart. Therefore, when she hatches a plan that might restore order, Akeal knows he must support her. After all, everything in their family has been upended. It seems grandmother’s illness has forced Mama and Baba to travel to Beirut. Yet what none of the children have expected is that Aunt Amel’s care of the family could be so very bad.
Not only does she have them working from before dawn, but she’s denied them any access to their baby brother. What’s more, Omar is now her chauffeur, Suha and Layla round the clock bakers and tea makers while Hula’s job involves cleaning. Meanwhile, Khaloud is Aunt Ahmel’s personal assistant and groomer. Finally, Akeal is butler; this means cleaning chicken poo at 5:30 a.m. The family is in crisis. It seems it is up to Huda and Me to put things to rights. However, it will involve elaborate plotting to locate passports, steal a credit card and thereafter board a plane to Beirut…
Beirut is in the family’s hearts and minds, although they live in Melbourne, now. Therefore, Akeal is full of what he might see alongside longing for the safety his parents, and fearing Huda’s plans. Although he and his little sister seem joined at the hip, he’s aware of her charms and wit and guile. What’s more he feels protective of her.
Like No Man’s Land in the way that this story is a quest requiring skill and courage, Huda and Me, is a thoughtful, funny, daring adventure story. Bookwagon is proud to recommend this book to our middle grade readers.


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