Raghda is the new girl in school. She is made fun of because she wears a hat all the time, even in hot weather. When Raghda reveals that she wears the hat because she has cancer her classmates become more accepting and understanding. Zainab becomes Raghda’s best friend with whom she shares her joys and pain. They spend a lot of time together sometimes joined by Raghda’s brother Salem. All three get to go on a balloon riding adventure; a trip that they will always remember and cherish.
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Parent and Teacher guide
At one point or the other some children have to face sickness or death in the family. These are difficult subjects to discuss with a child. A story can be the best way to start a discussion and put the fears and feelings on the table. This preteen story discusses such a subject. 13 year old Raghda is recovering from cancer. She and her family have just moved to a new house and so she is attending a new school. Raghda has to deal with fitting in a new school, making new friends, being accepted while at the same time dealing with her illness. “Raghda’s Hat” talks about feelings of fear, sadness, anger, acceptance and hope. It is not only a story about cancer but it is a story about how cancer, like everything else that happens to us good or bad, is only one part of our lives and does not need to take over all our lives or define us.
About the Author
Taghreed Najjar is a pioneer of modern children's literature in Jordan. A graduate of the American University of Beirut,Taghreed started her career as a teacher before becoming a full time writer of picture books and young adult novels. Her YA novels have been celebrated widely by her readers and various schools in the region have adopted them as part of their curriculum. A number of her books have won awards while others have been translated into foreign languages like English, Swedish, Turkish, French and Chinese.
One of her most critically acclaimed works is a series of ten picture books revolving around six-year old Jude and her family and friends.'The Halazone Series', deals with everyday childhood issues which are treated with humor and deftness by the author. One of Taghreed’s pet projects was collecting old Arabic children rhymes and publishing them in book and digital form to make them accessible to the modern child and family of today. She published two collections of rhymes, the latest entitled 'Musical Tickles' was selected by the National Centre for Children's Literature (a service of the French National Library) as one of the best publications in the Arab World in 2012/2013.
Taghreed is a member of the Jordanian Writer’s Association and takes part in international and regional conferences and workshops that deal with children literature.
About the Illustrator
Zainab attributes her love of drawing and design to her childhood where she started drawing from a very early age inspired by the cartoons that she used to watch. As she grew up Zainab was influenced by her father a famous architect and her uncle who is an artist and admits that their guidance and direction really helped her at the start of her career. In 2002 she moved with her family to Jordan and decided to study Architecture, as Zainab believes that architecture is the 'father' of all art. She is now getting ready to study masters in animation design in the UK and hopes she will one day open her own animation house and revive old Iraqi and Arabic folk tales. Zainab has published three books with Al Salwa Publishers entitled “Nashma and Jassem”, “Kaak” and a young adult novela entitled “Raghda's Hat”.