Ramadan Readathon Book Tag

I’m doing my first tag today—the Ramadan Readathon Book Tag, which was created by Amna over at YA Reading Corner. This is a bit more personal than my usual book reviews, so I hope it’s a fun way to get to know one another a little better. 🙂

Ramadan Readathon Book Tag

~*Mirrors and Windows*~

Name a book that you felt represented you or that you were able to relate to.

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali is the first book that I read and was able to say: Yes! that’s the community I grew up in!

~*My Muslim Hero/Heroine*~

Name your favorite Muslim character and explain why.

Kamala Khan from the Ms. Marvel comic book series because she’s a badass with a good heart. What better combination?

~*Patience is a virtue*~

Name your most anticipated read by a Muslim author.

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin is a Pride and Prejudice reboot with Muslim characters. Uhhh, yes please! It comes out June 12 in Canada.

~*Muslim Scribe*~

Name your favorite Muslim author.

I don’t really have a favorite Muslim author. I read everything I can get my hands on, and will try everyone once, and most people twice. 🙂

~*The Muslim Shelf*~

Recommend one book by a Muslim author that everyone should read.

Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and illustrated by Ebony Glenn. Yes! A picture book! Because everyone can enjoy a gorgeously illustrated picture book, and this one shows the beauty and power of one of Islam’s most misunderstood symbols (the hijab.) I think it’s a fabulous tool for understanding and peace. 

Let me know your answers to any of these questions or if you’ve read any of the books I’ve mentioned.

Happy Ramadan!

Review—Yan’s Hajj by Fawzia Gilani and illustrated by Sophie Burrows

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Yan is a poor farmer who wants to go to hajj. But every time he saves up enough money and sets out, he meets someone in his path who needs his help.

He empties his money purse while on his journey three times, first to help repair a burned-down school, then to rescue a hurt and exploited boy, and finally, to build a mosque.  Each time, he simply goes back home and gets back to work to save more money. Eventually, he is old enough that he knows he won’t be able to save enough money again. But the good deeds he filled his life with have caught up with him, and the boy he rescued comes to take Yan to hajj. On this final journey, he sees the fruits of his labor: the school, the boy’s happy parents, and the mosque. Continue reading

Review—myDeen Magazine

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myDeen is a monthly magazine for Muslim children. I love that they produce three magazines every month, so that children of different age groups get a tailored experience. The age groups are 2–4 years, 5–7 years, and 8–11 years. Each month, all three magazines focus on a theme, so that siblings who subscribe to the different magazines can learn about the same topic, but in their own way.   

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Continue reading

Review—The Muslims by Ahmad Philips

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The Muslims is a graphic novel by Ahmad Philips. Printed in full color, this 8.5 x 11 book has five chapters, each of which focuses on one of the two children in the family: Hani and Huda.

The first chapter was pretty funny: I laughed out loud. In it, Hani does badly on a quiz that he forgot about. He learns his lesson and studies really hard next time, only to discover that he studied the wrong subject.   Continue reading

Review—Born with Wings by Daisy Khan

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While’s Daisy Khan’s life is fascinating and her work is admirable, her memoir is alienating and reads more like a résumé than a biography.

Born in Kashmir, Daisy Khan moved to the US in high school to study design. She went on to found WISE, the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality, an organization that works for women’s rights. Born with Wings is her memoir and first book.

The book tells Khan’s life story chronologically, with each chapter focusing on one event in her life: a specific problem she overcame or an issue she explored. Interspersed between the chapters are snippets that highlight specific initiatives of her own or of other women. For example, one snippet tells the story of Misbah, a Pakistani beautician who helps the survivors of acid attacks receive medical and cosmetic treatment and regain their confidence. Continue reading

Review—Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and illustrated by Ebony Glenn

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In Mommy’s Khimar, a powerful new picture book for children 4–8, a little girl plays dress-up in her mom’s scarves, imagining she’s a queen, a superhero, and a mama bird. 

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Her favorite scarf is the yellow one, and when she wears it, it’s a cuddle from her mom. Even when she takes off her khimar, she carries her mother with her. Continue reading

Our Bookish Ramadan Traditions

Ramadan is just about a month away, so I wanted to share my family’s bookish traditions while there’s still plenty of time to prepare. And you know we have bookish Ramadan traditions in my house!

Here is the first:

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This is our cache of children’s Ramadan books that only come out during Ramadan. The kids are so excited every year when they come out—greeting old friends and meeting new ones. Last year The Jinni on the Roof was a new favorite. The story features parathas prominently, and I would reward the kids with a paratha each when they fasted. Continue reading

Review—A Quranic Odyssey: Towards Juz ‘Amma (Volume 1) by Umm Muhammed

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Towards Juz ‘Amma is a cute, sweet story about a family undergoing a hifdh journey. It is made up of 40 short chapters, with each one revolving around a specific teachable moment in the family’s life, usually between the mother and the children, but sometimes including other family members. The main characters are Pakistani mother Khadija, Italian father Abdurrahman, precocious five-year-old Ibrahim, and repetitive two-year-old Amna. Continue reading