Satoko and Nada Vols. 1-3

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Heartwarming and fun!

A brilliant comic about friendship and acceptance! Nada, a Saudi Arabian woman who practices Islam and wears a hijab is in need of a roommate. Enter Satoko, an international student from Japan, who has very different customs and ideas from what Satoko is used to living with. Through error, fun, and understanding, Satoko and Nada learn how to not only be roommates but also friends.

This series was recommended to me by someone on Twitter and I absolutely adored it. Reading about other cultures is important for everyone, but often I find those novels to be a bit preachy and overly educational rather than just a great story that changes your perception. This series does a great job of making you care about Satoko and Nada while also learning about both of their cultures along the way. This series follows the women as they navigate through college, which I also enjoyed because most of my experience with cross-cultural titles have been with either Teen or High School aged characters or adults who should really be more self-aware of the world around them. College is the perfect setting as the women are learning and experiencing a lot of the same situations, but reacting to them differently due to their cultural upbringing.

These are very easy to follow, 4-panel comics that I think anyone could pick up and enjoy, not just women. I did find the section regarding Nada’s future arranged marriage to be eye-opening and her explanations about why women of Islam choose to wear a hijab or a niqab. It was explained succinctly and clearly, and really will be an asset to those who maybe aren’t aware of Islam. Satoko has a lot of interesting revelations too, especially about how she and Nada differ in the way Japan and Saudi Arabia approach religion.

This collection is really enjoyable if you’re looking for a diverse, inclusive, and most importantly, relatable read. If you identify as female, there are plenty of situations in this collection that you will instantly relate to regardless of what country you’re from. The situations transcend religion or culture and it’s interesting to see women who have a different worldview than I navigate their way through the same circumstances. Absolutely recommend!

Title: Satoko and Nada (1-3)
Author: Yupechika
Format: Paperback
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781626929098 // 9781626929852 // 9781642751000

Three Descriptors: Coming of Age, Realistic, Informative

 

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