No Laughter Here
When 10-year-old Akilahs best friend Victoria returns from a summer in Nigeria, she knows something is terribly wrong. Eventually, Victoria confides in her a secret: she was forced to undergo FGM, Female Genital Mutilation, a tradition in her familys culture. Akilah struggles with how to help her friend and with her own feelings of outrage.
No Laughter Here is a very good novel to inform young girls about a serious topic, especially those who may be affected by the practice. It is written in a very honest and straight-forward style, and while explaining some of the reasons for the tradition of FGM clearly takes a strong stance against it. The story of these two girls is interesting and heart-wrenching for readers of any age from any cultural background.
In No Laughter Here, Akilah is a 10-year-old girl waiting for her best friend, Victoria, to come back home from her trip to Nigeria. Victoria had gone there to celebrate her growing up to become a woman. When Akilah hasnt heard from Victoria from a long time, she becomes worried about her friend. Then, the Ojikes arrived back one morning without anyone knowing. Akilah is very excited, but Victoria wont talk to her. She isnt her normal self. Akilah thinks that it will wear off when school starts. They go back to school, and still, Victoria stays withdrawn from everything. When the school offers a Sex Ed class, Akilah signs the slip for Victoria to attend. When Victoria suddenly leaves in the middle, Akilah finds out why her best friend is acting the way she is. In Nigeria, Victoria had gone through a cultural process called Female Genital Mutilation. Slowly, with the help of Akilah, Victoria gained back her strength by accepting what happened to her. She then tried to take measures to prevent FGM from happening to other young girls as well.
No Laughter here was a good book. Not only did it address an issue that mostly people dont know about, but its a very inspiring story about true friendship. It was well written and to the point. I think its a good piece of work for anyone to read.