Books Books: Under 18 & YA

Tagging Freedom

I am so excited to have received TAGGING FREEDOM by Rhonda Roumani – Let’s check out the Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours.

About Tagging Freedom


Author: Rhonda Roumani

Pub. Date: November 7, 2023

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: Goodreads or Here

Out of the revolutions across the Arab world, comes this inspirational story of with hope, freedom, and belonging, perfect for fans of Other Words for Home and A Good Kind of Trouble.

Kareem Haddad of Damascus, Syria, never dreamed of becoming a graffiti artist. But when a group of boys from another town tag subversive slogans outside their school, and another boy is killed while in custody, Kareem and his friends are inspired to start secretly tagmessages of freedom around their city.

Meanwhile, in the United States, his cousin, Samira, has been trying to make her own mark. Anxious to fit in at school, she joins the Spirit Squad where her natural artistic ability attracts the attention of the popular leader. Then Kareem is sent to live with Sam’s family, and their worlds collide. As graffitied messages appear around town and all eyes turn to Kareem, Sam must make a choice: does she shy away to protect her new social status, or does she stand with her cousin?  

Informed by her time as a journalist, author Rhonda Roumani’s Tagging Freedom is a thoughtful look at the intersection between art and activism, infused with rich details and a realistic portrayal of how war affects and inspires children, similar to middle grade books for middle schoolers by Aisha Saeed, The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandi, or Refugee by Alan Gratz.

Tagging Freedom Review

Love me some dual perspective point of views. Alternating between Kareem’s strong personality and Samira, these muslim children tell the story of recent Syrian events and life in America. I’m also of the belief graffiti is a beautiful art form – when it doesn’t destroy property – please make sure your middle grader understands destroying property is wrong, no matter what.

While friendship and fitting in are important tropes, we see first hand how they find their voices with the underlaying sentiment of hope. Religion and culture take a backseat to the story. The book is an overall good one, delivered at an engaging pace. I wish the entire cast of characters were presented with more depth to take advantage of multiple learning opportunities. The graffiti is viewed as vandalism so breaking the law is an issue. The kids sneak out and lie frequently while bombings are mentioned and, of course, strike fear into the kids.

About the Author

Rhonda Roumani is a Syrian American journalist who lived in Syria as a reporter for U.S. newspapers. She has written about Islam, the Arab world, and Muslim-American issues for more than two decades. Currently, she is a contributing fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC. Rhonda lives in Connecticut with her family.

Sign up for Rhonda’s Newsletter and find her at:
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

Tagging Freedom Tour Schedule

Check out what others have to say about this book!

YA Books CentralGuest Post/IG Post
The Momma SpotGuest Post 
Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post/IG Post
Callisto’s calling IG Review
Lifestyle of MeReview/IG Post
Country Mamas With KidsReview/IG Post
Confessions of the Perfect MomReview/IG Post
Kim’s Book Reviews and Writing Aha’sReview/IG Post
The Litt LibrarianReview/IG Post

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