Anahita's Woven Riddle by Megan Nuttall Sayres.
Amulet Books/Harry N. Abrams, Inc: NY, 2006.

Anahita is repelled by the marriage proposal of her tribe's kahn. She has plans for her life and isn't sure marriage fits at all. At the very least, she wants to choose her own husband. Her father is upset, knowing how greatly her refusal may impact the village and its seasonal migration.

Inspired by the riddles she shares with her father, Anahita requests permission to hold a contest to determine her betrothal. She wishes to weave a riddle into her wedding carpet to eliminate the possibility of marrying the Kahn. Anahita acts impulsively and does not think through the consequences of her behavior. Word of the challenge spreads farther than she desires. The idea of the competition causes upheaval in her village, and consequently, her family.

I especially like the characters and how they each relate to the contest, the turmoil caused by one girl's desire to choose her own path, the lessons she learns through the process, and the meaning of the weaving itself as Anahita works and plans and as each suitor tries to guess her thoughts.

related-Iran, Persia, nomads, handmade carpets, natural dyes, riddles, weaving, weavers, change, tradition, strong female protagonist/character

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