Watched by Marina Budhos
Naeem is more interested in street life than in studying and when his friend Ibrahim frames him for shop lifting, he finds himself faced with a hard decision. The cops give him the choice of jail or becoming a watcher, an informer. Naeem tries to convince himself that he is keeping people safe but as he starts attending mosque and participating in a Muslim teen volunteer group, he begins to like how being a good Muslim boy feels. His unease with the role the cops have forced him into grows as he tries to extricate himself from their power.
This is a fast moving gripping tale that examines how it feel to grow up under surveillance, something that is a reality for may Muslim Americans.
Tessa's Picks, 8th grade Summer 2017, 7th grade, Contemporary Fiction, Issues Fiction, Character driven