"Amina is a Pakistani-American middle school girl. Her best friend Soojin is Korean and about to become a US citizen. Emily is the "cool" White girl who suddenly wants to be their friend.
Thing I didn't like as much - Amina being forgiven for her hurtful actions simply because of what happens to the Islamic Center (to quickly resolved).
Things I liked - learning about the various cultures and religious beliefs, Amina finding her voice both in music and life, the visiting Pakistani uncle not being against life in America, the jealousy among the girls (so true to what middle school girls deal with), the relationship of Amina and her brother.
From advanced reader copy." Mary Librarian said.
" Story of a young Pakistani-American Muslim girl entering middle school, growing apart from her best friend and learning to trust her voice (both singing voice and inner voice). This solid novel weaves in issues of faith and family and community, and is part of the Salaam Reads imprint. Really good. " Karin said.
" A great start to the new Salaam Reads imprint from Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. Full review coming soon at Bookends Blog. " Cindy Dobrez said.
" Really enjoyed this book. I think it was a great coming of age, middle school read, that opens windows into life as a Pakistani-American middle grade student. " Michele Knott said.
" I like what this book represents more than I liked the book itself. I exist on a steady diet of middle grade problem novels, and through that lens, this wasn't a standout.its strength was in its introduction of Muslim Pakistani-American characters in a developed, sympathetic, sensitive way*review from ARC* " Amy said.
" This is a fantastic diverse book for middle grades. Khan included Arabic and Urdu languages as well as Muslim practices in order to "normalize" it in a text that teens and tweens can read and see it as something that's real, that's in our country, and that is not scary. Readers can learn a lot about Pakistan culture, the languages spoken there, and the religious practices of the people. Diversity is a gift, and this book is one that really shows it! " Kelsey McLane said.
"One of the first books from a new imprint at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers with Muslim themes - Salaam Reads. I was privileged to hear the author & editor at the ALSC Mini-Instutute at Mid-Winter. And Amina's voice in this middle-grade novel is strong and true even if she is shy and not confidant enough to share her music outside of the family.
Her family's Muslim faith and Pakistani heritage come through and are a part of Amina just as her music is a part of her in addition to her fears about losing her best friend. Realistic storytelling with an identifiable protagonist. " Crystal Faris said.
"Amina could be every girl, shy, not confident enough to "show off" her great voice in a school program, jealous when her best friend welcomes another girl into their group, anxious to be a good daughter and sister. She just happens to be Muslim. There is a sense of old ways vs. new when an important uncle comes to visit and her parents "worry" about how he will evaluate the family and later in the book the mosque is vandalized. But the emphasis is on how the community comes together for support and the annual carnival still takes place (which the imam joining the dunking contest). One of the early books in Simon and Schuster's new imprint Salaam Reads. A great success. " Edie said.