Reviews

Nancy Lee Cecil, author of Raising Peaceful Children in a Violent World
“Besides telling the very real story of what everyone of Middle Eastern decent went through after 9/11, it is so well-written—lyrical even; a joy to read. It will change the lives of children through knowledge and, hopefully, empathy.”
- May 2009

Arizona Daily Star
“There is almost nothing about the Statue of Liberty that Mohammed bin Hasan Ahmed Al- Fulani — known as "Hamed," the "only kid in Pioneer Middle School with a permanent tan" and its only Muslim — doesn't know. As a member of the Young Engineers Club in his small Ohio school, he is intensely looking forward to its trip to New York. And although it is almost derailed by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the club manages to get there, where Hamed's fantasies take over.”
- January 2010

Midwest Book Review
“Though intended for middle grade and young adult readers, How Mohammed Saved Miss Liberty is a welcome novel for readers of all ages and backgrounds. After the tragedy of the September 11th attacks, life in Ohio's small town changes drastically for fourteen-year-old Mohammed and his family. Their masjid is vandalized. Their family business is boycotted. He has to endure taunts and threats at middle school for being a Muslim. Worst of all, his trip to New York City with the Young Engineers Club is cancelled. Mohammed is crushed over the loss of his boyhood dream to see Miss Liberty. Even when the Young Engineer's trip is suddenly rescheduled, he learns the statue is closed to the public. Determined to realize his dream of going to see it, he dares to break the rules and visit Liberty Island—not a safe thing to do in the currently hostile political climate!

“A thoughtful novel that invites the reader to see the world from a different perspective, and a much-needed contribution to children's literature shelves in the wake of hysteria or predispositions to assume the worst about all Muslims in the wake of 9/11.”
- April 2008

USA Book News
How Mohammed Saved Miss Liberty addresses the issue of anti-Muslim discrimination following September 11, 2001. Told from the perspective of a Muslim teen, the novel explores how life for fourteen-year-old Mohammed Ahmed and his family changes after 9/11. How Mohammed Saved Miss Liberty also tells a unique story about one of our most treasured national monuments—the Statue of Liberty.”
- October 2008

ForeWord Reviews
“Mohammed couldn’t wait to visit New York City. He dreamed of the Statue of Liberty at night, and during the day he fantasized about the grand city and all that he would do and see there. Plans were underway for the eighth grader to take a trip with the Young Engineers Club of his junior high school, but then 9/11 happened.

How Mohammed Saved Miss Liberty is the story of a Muslim family in small-town Ohio. M.S. Holm tells of the friendships and hardships Mohammed and his family encounter in the aftermath of the tragic events.

“The small community feels confusion, anger, and immense sadness at the loss of lives. Mohammed’s father knows times will be difficult for a while. He tells Mohammed, “Son, trouble comes when people are blinded by anger and hate, when they cannot see the good men differently from the bad ones. We are Muslims—peace-loving Muslims—and we are Americans too. Everything will be all right for us. Tawakkul ‘ala Allah.”
But things aren’t all right for the Ahmed family. Mohammed endures jokes, hatred, snickers, and even physical violence. His father’s business, Ahmed’s Automotive, is boycotted, bringing financial problems to the family. To make matters worse, the trip to New York is cancelled.

“Holm writes about Mohammed and his family with much attention to detail and cultural nuance. He is knowledgeable about Muslim religious rituals and practices, and also gives insight into Mohammed’s mother’s Mexican culture. His storytelling is honest, believable, and compelling and his likeable characters lead the reader to feel compassion for the family, especially in light of the injustice and hatred they encounter.

“Holm brings great twists and anticipation to the story, building on each of the negative events, but also emphasizing the care and love the Mohammed receives from most of his neighbors, friends, and teachers.

“The story reaches its suspenseful climax when Mohammed finally makes it to New York. He plans to visit “Miss Liberty,” even though it is not on his club’s agenda and the park has been closed for security reasons. This episode is full of tension, risk, and determination.

How Mohammed Saved Miss Liberty can help show teens and young adults the complexities of relationships, and the possibility for good will toward friends, neighbors, and humanity. It also draws attention to the realities we face in this angry world. While some people choose hatred, the world is really full of kindness, acceptance, and generosity. Five Stars!”
- March 2008

Eric Hoffer Award Committee
“Life is idyllic for a young Muslim Ohio boy who does well in school, helps his father at his service station, and dreams of seeing the Statue of Liberty. When the 9/11 terrorist attacks strike and the statue is closed due to heightened security, Mohammed fears he will never get to see “his” statue. Already in New York City on a class trip, Mohammed decides he is too close to go home empty handed. He sneaks off from the group, stows away on a crew boat heading for the island, and stands beneath Miss Liberty—just for a minute, he says—but he misses the last boat and spends the night sleeping under Miss Liberty’s watchful stare. A storm starts—wind and rain so strong you can’t see. Is this the storm from his dreams? Will he come this far only to drown? Or will he get caught, a young Muslim boy sneaking around a cherished national monument carrying a Qur’an and no identification?”
- April 2008