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Author: Khan, Hena
A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family's vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 189507
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 70604
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/15/17)
School Library Journal (+) (02/01/17)
Booklist (+) (02/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/17)
The Hornbook (00/03/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2017 *Starred Review* Amina enjoys spending time with her best friend Soojin and practicing her singing, as long as no one is around to hear her. When Soojin starts talking about selecting a second, more American name when she becomes a citizen, Amina feels she is starting to lose her friend, especially as Soojin starts to befriend classmate Emily and talk about boys. To add to Amina’s worries, her parents have signed her up to be part of a statewide Quran recitation competition. While Amina has a beautiful singing talent, she’s afraid she won’t do well and is searching for a way out. When the Islamic Center is vandalized, however, Amina begins to discover things about her family, her friends, her community, and herself that ultimately help her through her difficulties, in particular, that the support she needs is all around her. The Amina that readers meet at at the beginning of the story—a shy, unsure young girl—gradually and beautifully blossoms into the confident girl she longs to be. Khan gracefully balances portraying the unique features of Amina’s cultural and religious background with familiar themes of family, belonging, and friendship worries, which should resonate with a wide range of readers. Written as beautifully as Amina’s voice surely is, this compassionate, timely novel is highly recommended for all libraries. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2017 Gr 4–6—A satisfying read about an 11-year-old girl navigating friendship, family, religion, and dreams of becoming a soul-singing sensation. In a quiet Milwaukee suburb, Amina and her best friend Soojin grapple with their own ethnic identities and the pressure to Americanize. Soojin is Korean American and on the pathway to citizenship. She's contemplating changing her name to solidify her American identity, while Amina, who is Pakistani American, must reconcile her love of singing Motown with her Muslim faith. Popular Emily, a white girl, who has a history of bullying, creates a wedge when she tries to befriend the pair, drawing skepticism from Amina. Things begin to unravel when Amina's uncle comes to visit from Pakistan and her deficiencies in Urdu and Arabic are exposed—along with the fact that Amina and her older brother, Mustafa, aren't necessarily the perfect children her father would like them to be. When the neighborhood mosque is vandalized, the greater community comes together. Amina's struggles to balance her faith, friendship, and aspirations are all resolved—albeit a bit too neatly. VERDICT A universal story of self-acceptance and the acceptance of others. A welcome addition to any middle grade collection.—Christina Vortia, Hype Lit, Wesley Chapel, FL - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.