BOOK REVIEWS

Amina's Voice Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-04-15 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:1481492063
LANGUAGE:English

"Amina’s story combines the theme of typical pre-teen friendship politics with the theme of growing up in a multicultural environment. Amina not only has to navigate the rough waters that come along with growing up, but she must also tackle the conflicts that arise when she tries to harmonize the culture that her parents grew up in with the culture in which she is growing up in.

Issues of religion, religious intolerance, hate crimes, and cultural differences, diversity, and multi-cultural awareness are weaved smoothly into cross-cultural issues of bullying, friendship, and coming-of-age. Amina learns about the world, her environment, her family’s religion and heritage, her friends, and most of all she learns about herself, as she finds her voice in this complex, diverse, often confusing, multi-cultured world.


I received a copy of this book from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
" said.

"ARC provided by the publisher

Amina (AH min ah) lives near Milwaukee, and enjoys being with her friend Soojin. She loves to sing, but doesn't like to do so in public. Things are changing in her world-- Soojin has decided that once she and her family have become citizens, she will change her name to something that sounds less Korean, and is also friendly with Emily, the girls' former nemesis. At home, Amina's brother Mustafa is becoming an obnoxious teenager, and her father's older brother is coming from Pakistan to stay with the family for three months. Because her father respects his brother so much, he expects Amina and her brother to be on their best behavior, which includes no singing around the house as well as entering a Quran recitation contest, which has Amina very nervous. When a misunderstanding causes Soojin and Emily to stop speaking to her, Amina thinks things can't get any worse... until the mosque her family attends is gravely vandalized. What do the vandals mean, "Go home!"? Amina is home, and has to reconcile how she sees herself with how others see her, not only regarding her Muslim background but her singing and her relationship with family and friends.

Many middle school students are involved in religious organizations without thinking too much about the philosophy of the religion, and it is great when a book can speak to this experience and hit the right balance. Amina occasionally thinks about whether her actions are consistent with her religious beliefs, but is more concerned with the social aspects-- her Sunday school class, the Quran competition, and how her culture is understood by her friends at school. While this book will speak to students who share Amina's Muslim background, it also addresses universal concerns that middle grade students have in a realistic and touching way.

The details of Amina's home life are wonderfully drawn, and the descriptions of food, clothing, celebrations and family relationships again serve as vivid mirrors or clear windows to a way of life. Her individual quirks, such as being afraid of speaking in public and having trouble eating when she is upset, are very common among middle school students, and are depicted with a light touch.

When I was in middle school, I loved reading stories about ordinary girls struggling through their own middle school experiences so that I could compare the things they went through with my own life. Amina's Voice is a lighthearted but insightful look at Amina's very ordinary life that also manages to delve into much more serious and timely issues of culture, acceptance, and the concept of home.
" said.

" Hooray for the Salaam Reads imprint. Now more than ever we need to see our communities as they really are, not as certain factions would have us see them. " said.

" Highly recommended for fourth-sixth grade realistic fiction readers! " said.

"Amina has gone through some hard times throughout Amina's Voice, for example there is a lot of drama at school and to add to that, she is having a hard time at home do to her uncle coming back from Pakistan. Soojin and Amina have been best friends since they were young until, Emily comes to their school and changes their relationship, Soojin now wants to change her name and her culture. Also, at home Mustafa, Amina's older brother is causing her home to be not comfortable because her brother is not staying true to their culture, like playing basketball. Will Amina get over all of her school and home drama?

I gave this book 3 stars because it was not the most entertaining book, it was very slow for the most part. Amina is a very strong and loving character that I love. Overall, Amina's voice was a decent book.
" 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* " said.

"Wonderful story! For me this was a window. I found myself stopping multiple times to learn more and connect with resources to find out about customs, beliefs, and traditions that I was unfamiliar with. This story also was a door in that it has been a great vehicle to allow me to build an even stronger relationship with a few of my students who this book would serve as more of a mirror. I read this book because many others had recommended it and now I see why. I highly recommend this book and can't wait to book talk it with others as well." said.

"This book was so wonderful and such a delight to read! I love it so much that i dont have words to describe how AMAZING it was. But I will try anyway.

It is raw and honest and literally, Amina's voice is very pure and innocent which makes the whole book very delightful. I love the family and sibling dynamics the most. The character development of both Amina and Mustafa is so good. The build up friendship between Amina, Soojin and Emily is really sweet and just so innocently cute.

Also the fact this book is wholly diverse with all the characters, and the muslim representations were spot on. The whole Muslim community the author has written in the book was wonderful and just the whole neighbourhood community in general which consists of Amina's friends and neighbours who were all super supportive of them is so amazing. It made me have hope for humanity and goodness in this world.

Besides it all, it made me miss my middle grade contemporaries reading phase and how great they were. This one is amazingly written, i adored it. Such a great read.
" said.

April 2018 New Book:

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