Review—Jamal’s Bad-Time Tale by Absar Kazmi

 

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Jamal’s Bad-Time Tale, written and illustrated by Absar Kazmi, is a cute early chapter book in the vein of Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day.

Jamal’s day gets off to a bad start, and it just keeps getting worse. He wakes up in a fright when the cat jumps on him and spills cereal on himself at breakfast—and that’s only the beginning. How much worse can Jamal’s day get before it gets better? Continue reading

Review—No Ordinary Day by George Green

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No Ordinary Day is the story of a group of five nine-year-old friends who are expecting a special guest at school. The kids are thrilled when they find out that the guest is a Muslim soccer star who is giving away tickets to a local game. To choose who gets the tickets, he asks the students to recite some Quran and explain why studying the Quran is important to each of them. And the story goes from there.

What this book has got going for it: a diverse cast a characters, fun illustrations, and a story that shows kids excited to learn Quran. Continue reading

Guest Review—Seven is Special by Shagufta Malik

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I decided to get my 7-year-old’s opinion on this book, which she really liked.

Did you like the book? I loved the book, because it talks about how grownups are patient with their kids, and how kids can face difficulties.

What happens in the book? The little girl’s name was Maryam. Maryam was packing for umrah because she was going to get to go. But her mom was gonna get a baby. But then Maryam was screaming and kicking because she didn’t want the baby. So they didn’t go to umrah, and she was very mad and then her mom got really sick so they took her to the hospital. After four or five times of going to the hospital, Maryam’s mom got the baby.  

What was your favorite part? Maryam and her baby brother have the same birthday.

Do you think your friends should read this book? Yes, you can learn how to face difficulties, and learn Maryam’s lesson, and learn things you haven’t heard before, like that someone sick cannot go to umrah.

Which was your favorite picture?

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Review—Seven is Special by Shagufta Malik

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Seven is Special by Shagufta Malik is an early chapter book about 7-year-old Maryam. The book opens with Maryam really excited about a trip she’s taking with her mother and father to umrah. I won’t say any more than that to avoid spoilers, but I was a little disappointed with the direction this took. While a lot of themes are dealt with in this book—growing up/maturity, family, sickness, dealing with disappointment, umrah, fitting in—there is no real narrative arc to speak of. Lots of smaller events happen during the book, and Maryam reacts to them, but the lack of a single unifying plot line to bring everything together didn’t work for me. Continue reading

Review—Hijabi Girl by Hazel Edwards and Ozge Alkan

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Hijabi Girl is an early chapter book for 2nd grade readers published in 2016. Written by Hazel Edwards and Ozge Alkan, the story follows 8-year-old Melek as she meets a new friend and competes in a book character parade at school. This 47 page book is divided into 5 chapters and includes a glossary and an online book guide for teachers. The cover is designed by Serena Geddes, whose illustrations also appear inside the book—including a hijabi fish! 

 

 

Hijabi Girl is a smart and playful story about a group of friends in Australia who navigate friendship, culture, and school. The four friends are smart and competitive Melek, the new girl Tien, Melek’s best friend Lily, and their classmate Zac, who loves soccer and his pet rat—Rattus Rattus.

Melek is such a refreshing Muslim girl character; she is both bold and kind. Outgoing and friendly, she introduces herself to the new girl, Tien, at school. She demonstrates empathy when she explains how to pronounce her own name and is careful to pronounce Tien’s correctly. Melek is fiercely competitive and wants to win the most points for her table and the character parade competition for her class. Continue reading