Produced by JWR Productions, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show features a menagerie of 75 enchanting

The “Best Book” prizes are out at the 2010 Beirut Book Fair, and Fatima Sharafeddine’s first young-adult (YA) novel, فاتن, has very deservedly taken first prize for children’s literature.

The book follows a bright, ambitious, sensitive young girl—فاتن—as she is brought by her parents to Beirut for the first time and placed into service with a wealthy family. What happens to her and to the family’s elder girl, Dalia, form the center of the novel.

The novel is both a breakthrough for Sharafeddine, who had not previously written YA, and for the entire YA genre in Arabic. Sharafeddine’s book—along with two by Samah Idris, and another by him released at this year’s Beirut fair, فلافل النازحين—provides a model of simple, beautiful, straightforward prose, written in short sentences for easy and enjoyable digestion by adolescent readers.

Oh! And ألف مبروك، يا فاطمة. We all can’t wait for the next one!

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