This is the committee's evaluation of Coelho's book.
Somehow, the committee submitted that the book "addresses the literary reading standards by offering .. an under-represented, middle-Eastern world perspective. ... Students may participate in analytical conversations regarding middle-Eastern customs and practices."
Both the committee & superintendent approved the book. The Board of Education approved it.
I don't have an objection to the book. I am worried that a misinformed teacher may believe a self-help fable might give students an idea about the lives of of actual people in the so-called "Middle East." If a literature teacher wishes students to learn about the peoples of North Africa and Southwest Asia, a good resource is M. Lynx Qualey's blog Arabic Literature and Translation.