|Amira & Hamza : the war to save the worlds|
Author: Ahmed, Samira
Two jinn inform twelve-year-old Amira and her younger brother Hamza that they are the chosen ones who must defeat a monstrous demon of Islamic folklore to save the Earth and a parallel dimension.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/21)
School Library Journal (+) (09/01/21)
The Hornbook (00/11/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2021 Gr 3–7—A middle grade fantasy that includes Islamic legends, magic, science, and the power of belief in oneself. While at their mosque, waiting for the super blue blood moon, Amira and her younger brother Hamza both happen to touch a supposedly broken ancient artifact, the Box of the Moon, which sets an equally ancient prophecy in motion. Everyone on Earth suddenly falls asleep, and jinn appear, claiming that Amira and Hamza have been chosen to save the magical world of Qaf, Earth, and life as they know it. Amira loves science, so she has her doubts about fulfilling a mystical prophecy at 12, while Hamza is thrilled to become important, like one of his favorite superheroes. Like any magical journey, this one is full of heart, humor, action, doubt, and the belief that even the most unexpected individuals can save the world. Amira's questions will resonate with skeptical readers, whereas Hamza urges her to let go and believe anyway. Amira and Hamza's adventure is emotionally believable, even as the siblings ride magical creatures to their next destination. Although some of the action might be intimidating for younger readers, this would still make for a great read-aloud. VERDICT A fast-paced adventure with heart and a superb fairy-tale adaptation of Islamic legends. Sure to be a hit with fans of Yoon Ha Lee's Dragon Pearl and Sayantani DasGupta's The Serpent's Secret.—Hilary Tufo, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Reynoldsburg, OH - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2021 Acclaimed author Ahmed draws on mythical legends of Islamic origin, the Hamzanama, for this middle-grade fantasy novel. Specific references to that ancient story collection may be lost on contemporary readers, but this is nonetheless packed with all the ingredients of a whirlwind adventure: spunky, problem-solving kids; gender-fluid shapeshifters made of smokeless fire; ancient astronomical mysteries; and a hefty dose of science to underscore the inexplicable. The plot features siblings Amira and Hamza, who unexpectedly find themselves enmeshed in an ancient prophecy that foretold their role in saving the world from a cosmic disaster. They must end a war in the land of Oaf or else the moon will split apart, and the earth will be at the mercy of evil jinn and ghuls. Amid myriad twists and turns, Amira and Hamza emerge as smart, funny, likable protagonists with emotional ranges that render them believable even while everything around them is fantastical. This is the first in the series, and readers will be impatient for the stories to come. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.