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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Some Thoughts On Muslim Fiction by Juwayriyah K. Ayed



#MUSLIMGIRLSREAD

When was the last time you read a Muslim fiction book? Or even looked for a Muslim fiction book?
The feeling of seeing someone who looks like you on the cover or written out in the description is like
no other. Equally otherworldly is relating to words on a page in a way you’ve never really been able to
relate to before. If you are book lover and haven’t experienced good Muslim fiction, you are missing out.
Muslim fiction is a opportunity to connect with the characters, events, and themes in all the important -
deep ways that made you love stories in the first place. So where’s the Muslim fiction hiding at?

Muslim fiction isn’t as rare as some might think it is.  A growing selection of books by Muslim authors
targeting both Muslim adults and Muslim youth is being written everyday. English Muslim fiction in
particular is gaining momentum as well. Umm Zakiyyah, Rukhsana Khan, Emma Apple
(*love her*, mashallah) Naima B. Robert, Nasheed Jaxson, Mark Gonzales, and my mother, Umm Juwayriyah are some of the pioneers creating and expanding genres with Western Muslim inspired narratives.

You can definitely find Muslim at many online retailers like Amazon.com, Islamicbookstore.com, and
the newest and coolest online Muslim bookstore/library/cafe Fofkys.com! If you’re like me and need to see
and hold a book before you purchase, try you library. Libraries are still the best place to find books, even
Muslim fiction. It could be daunting at first because libraries are overwhelming filled with books written
by non muslims. Even in Muslim countries like Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, you  will still need to
hunt for your Muslim fiction fixes. Don’t get overwhelmed.

I work in the library every summer and  librarians are not only resourceful but are usually excited to

connect you to emerging genres. Give your librarian your list of Muslim authors and let them do the heavy
lifting. Librarians can narrow down the books and request them from other libraries through your city and
state. If your librarian can’t  find the Muslim fiction you’re looking for, ask them to order it for the library.
In fact, requesting Muslim fiction from your local library is a great way to create a buzz at your local library
and surrounding bookstores about Muslim fiction. The more Muslim fiction the libraries order, the larger
the audience of readers can grow, enshallah.

What are Muslim authors writing? Good question. Realistic fiction definitely seems to be a hot shelf.
Fewer Muslim writers have delved into science fiction, fantasy, comic books and mysteries.  Why is it that
Muslims tend to avoid these genres? Demand is key in any business but with us Muslims, religious and cultural
boundaries are also important to take into account. Fantasy/ magic, and even science fiction that explores
artificial intelligence can be a taboo subject for a significant number of Muslims worldwide. In fact, there are
still some Muslims who equate writing fiction with lying (insert my side kitty eyes with love and peace)!
Those things can be a difficult feat for Muslim authors to overcome when trying to write a story that is
broadly appealing.  Author Umm Zakiyyah stated  in the article, Is Writing Fiction Allowed:
“If writing fiction constitutes lying, as you claim, then you’d have absolutely no idea it was a
“fiction story” in the first place—because you would have been told it was true.” That said, Muslim
authors have to keep pushing the top off the box that some Muslims and non Muslims alike would want
us to stay in. We don’t all have to write the same type of stories. There is a need for the more fantasy-esque
genre to expand and include Muslim characters and themes. The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi which is a fantasy book did very well nation wide and was even reviewed by Kirkus.  With the continual rise of Islamophobia in
the West (not new - it started when Black African Muslims were forced into
slavery), a book set someplace else: on a different plane, in a different universe overcoming trauma, creating
things can help renew faith and inspire Muslims. In an article entitled: Why Sci-Fi Gives Me
Hope For the Future as a Muslim’ Farah Rishi stated, “...if we allow ourselves, even fictionally, to exist in
the future, then we can be reminded of why we must exist in the now.”

The pen is mightier than the sword. How many times have you heard this phrase and why is it that it’s so
important to Muslim literature? To create a story to prove a point or teach a lesson is a much more effective
way than others. Authors every day ask themselves, What big idea am I  do I want to convey? What tone I
want to set? What is the underlying message that I want my readers to think about? Authors like
G. Willow Wilson, Sahar Abdulaziz, Tohib Adejuma, Kaaronica Evans-Ware, Najiyah Diana Helwani,
Umm Zakiyyah, and (yep, my Momma) Umm Juwayriyahanswer these questions when writing their books. Writing stories that represents Muslim life, especially
Western Muslim life is  necessary and needed in the world to not only
show Muslim's point of view in the world but to counter some of the straight-up Muslim bashing,
discrimination, and erasure that is commonplace. Muslim authors that are building  bridges for communities
all around the world to come together and recognize the commonalities that we are share are engaged in critical
creative work that needs to be supported and appreciated.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Ten Things Muslims Need To Leave In 2017




 So we've reached the end of the Gregorian calendar year (yes, I know the Islamic New Year was in September!) . May be it isn't important to you or maybe it is, but the way bills, school, banks, and just about everything in the West and the East are set-up, December 31st is about closure. During the last 365 days we've all have seen many blessings and many trials, too. As Muslims, we know no matter what, we have to remain hopeful and praise Allah for all that He has given us. But I think any time you complete something, it's time for reflection. You have to take some inventory of yourself and honestly decide what worked, what failed miserably, and what's left for you to work on. Do ya'll do that? I think more Muslim communities need to come together and share in these types of reflections in order to plan how to more forward, enshallah. Now, even if your community doesn't have town hall meetings set-up, maybe you can get together with your sisters or your brothers and discuss the positives and the negatives. Positives are easy to come up with so I will leave that to your group to do that work. Here is small list of ten things, I pray and hope, we as Muslims can  leave in 2017:



1. Teasing/Taunting and Backbiting Muslim youth: Now, I know prom season is going to be here in a few seconds. I also know that it irks the life out of many elder Muslims to see social media flooded with Muslim teens attending prom. Times have indeed changed.  But dear respected sister/brother - hold your peace. If you can't change it with good words and actions, you stick to the sunnah and hate it in your heart silently! Prom season is not backbiting season, no matter how many camels, sand, Gucci, Louis Vuitton you see on the gram! Let's be proactive! Let's build positive relationships with Muslim youth.  Start a club for Muslim youth. Help create events in your city for Muslim youth! Leave the teasing and taunting in 2017.

2. Iftar Microaggressions at masajid: During Ramadhan the masajid are filled. This is a blessing that Allah brings His servants together to worship Him alone. It should be a time of remembrance, reflection, and camaraderie. We are all guests of Allah in His house. But too often, too often Muslims gather and can't get it right. Brothers, if you can't shake another brother's hand because he is a few shade darker than you - stay home! Sisters, if you got to side eye every sister coming in the building before deciding to return the salams - stay home. If you, your grandmother, grandfather or uncles and them  got issues eating or standing next to folks that ain't from your tribe - stay home! You don't own the masajid and if you can't get over yourself, keep yourself and your issues away from other Muslims - stay away from the community iftar. You don't know if your illness will poison another believer. You don't know if someone has their own illness that they are fighting to hold back! Don't take those microaggressions into 2018. Throw them away for good.

3.  "But the shaykh said":  Which shaykh? Read me carefully now, I am not denouncing our beloved shayuk in the least! Rather, I am calling for their proper due and respect of our learned. If you cant't recall who said what, when,why or from where the reference comes from -- abort that thought until you can properly cite it! Often times your message will be better understood with a aya or one hadeeth. It's not necessary to throw out names of scholars in every sentence to win a debate. Also, recognize that every Muslim may not follow or have even heard of the scholar that you revere. That shouldn't start a fight or dissension either. Knowledge shouldn't cause us to be haughty or harsh. Leave the shaykh said disagreements in 2017.

4. Arguments on Social media about the old hot topics:  It's just not a good idea. People get angry and feelings get hurt. There's never a resolution found on social media. Recognize that people are passionate about certain topics. Find your people and stick with them if you must discuss those topics so at least you can feel right in your group.  The name calling and putting others down publicly isn't a good look as Muslim. Don't let shaytan get you riled up over something you can't control. Keep scrolling and keep those arguments in 2017.

5. Poor Leadership in our communities: Without naming any names, unfortunately there were a couple of scandals involving Muslim leaders in different cities. People were saddened and hurt and rightfully so. But we are part of the problem as well. We love a charismatic speaker who can deliver a dynamic khutbah, who can raise funds for the building fund, and who can bolster the numbers in the community. However, how well do we vet our leaders? Do we care about  the backgrounds of those pushed to the front or are we just concerned about they can do? How many sisters are on the boards of these masajid to interject questions that speak to the needs and protection of Muslimat? Some times poor leadership is unavoidable. Some times we get what we got because we invited them in! Let's leave poor leadership in 2017 and demand more accountability in 2018.

6. Excuses: Advancement, Education, Sadaqa, Volunteering, Attendance at activities in the community - "Nah, nope, I can't! I don't want to help with that!" If that's your answer to every single thing someone asks you to do in your own community, you might have an issue. It could be something happened years ago and you have never healed from it or you don't like working or being around certain personalities in your community (see next point). Or it could be that you are really that busy. I understand.  We all have our own problems and challenges to overcome. But we need the Muslim community to support the Muslim community! Know that we need you! If you can't give your money to a project, try to give your time. If you can't give your time to the community, try to give a resource. It doesn't have to be money all the time, but we need Muslims involved and engaged. We have to leave the ready-made excuses in 2017. Let's make 2018 the year of yes!

7. Personality Issues: People are different. Islam wasn't sent to make us all carbon copies of one another. Yes, as Muslims we should all be working on our character and putting forth our best effort to be good people. The reality is that we won't ever be exactly same people! Stop cutting Muslims off or not even giving Muslims a chance because they sound or look different than you!  Even in your own family: your children, husband, and parents have different personalities than you. On your job you work and smile at all sorts of people with different looks, beliefs, ideas, and traditions than you and you manage to get through eight or more hours without all the side-eyes! In 2018 let's do our best to be sisterly and brotherly for the sake of Allah. Let's leave personality hate in 2017 and make our best effort to get to know someone new!

8. Celebrity (Busy) A'immah (read: Imams): Now, if your Imam has a theme song, all the latest social media accounts, contacts of sisters in every area code, a calendar full of booked dates out of the country, but only one Friday out of the month that he is in your city, he might be a celebrity Imam.  This is touchy issue and I know intentions are important for why people do what they do. I also know having a big name Imam who travels, has 10,000 followers on YouTube and Instagram brings in resources to the Imam's host community. However, if the celebrity imam isn't bringing about any change in our communities, he got to go! I could have merged this with the poor leadership, but I felt this deserved it's own mention. Brothers gotta eat and provide for their families. I get it and I support it. You just have a choice to make. If you don't know the names and faces of the  Muslims in your community or  the only way your community can get in touch with you is by scheduling a SKYPE meeting, perhaps you need to step aside. It's very difficult to be a celebrity Imam and run a community. You can't mix full-time entertainment with full-time spiritual activism and social work. One focus usually will take over the other. We need dedicated A'immah in our communities invested in our people. Our youth need to be able to connect with their Imam and learn and sit with their elders. So for that reason, we gotta leave the celebrity leadership in 2017. Let's bring some real community workers into our communities in 2018 who are hungry for change and will invest their time and resources in building bridges. 


9. Magnifying Sisters' Issues (while minimizing issues with brothers): When every lecture, conference, or workshop focuses on sisters' issues: how the sisters are not covering properly, why the sisters are gathering, where the sisters hang-out or go to school, if the sisters support this or that, sisters need to get married or more sisters need to do this or that - it's intentional, it's demeaning, it's called micro-aggression and it's time for it stop! Brothers and sisters, it's not your business what color a sister's hijab or jilbab or skirt is. If sisters show up to events with Muslims, think the very best that sisters are there to learn, be inspired, remember Allah and feel welcomed in Muslim spaces. Yes, we all have room to grow. But understand everyone grows differently at the speed and time Allah wills for them, so be kind and merciful. Furthermore, there's a whole lot of growth and development and learning that brothers of all ages need to be called out on as well - learn to show brothers some concern and attention through out the year too. Let's kick this habit of shaming Muslim women once and for all and bury it in 2017.

10. Sectarian Wars: What se(c)t you reppin'? What scholars you take from? What masjid you from? You take from that shaykh? You didn't go to that conference?   - If these are some of the 20 questions you have to ask each and every single Muslim you meet before you decide to behave sisterly or brother, you might be reppin' a sectarian war  - not Islam! We have a lot of problems in our communities and they all need our attention, but these sectarian wars just need a janazah! Let it go. Knock it off. Grow up! Get a Muslim mentor. Learn. Grow. You absolutely have every right to listen and follow what you believe is correct. Let that which is good and best in you show in your actions though. Take off the the arrogance in your speech and in your action! You are not pleasing Allah by hurting Muslims! And you can do better. Every single day at your job, at the bank, at the grocery store, at the airport -- you act right! Be good to the Muslims just like you act good with the non Muslims. Your sisters and brother are more deserving of your good treatment - even if you don't agree with them all the time! Let's break free of sectarian wars! Let's all remember to be patient with each other, to respect each other and that Allah is a Watcher over us all. Don't bring this mess into 2018. Leave it in 2017.

They say: Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts any resentment toward those who have faith. Our Lord, you are kind and merciful.
Surat al-Hashr 59:10
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
لَا تَبَاغَضُوا وَلَا تَحَاسَدُوا وَلَا تَدَابَرُوا وَكُونُوا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ إِخْوَانًا وَلَا يَحِلُّ لِمُسْلِمٍ أَنْ يَهْجُرَ أَخَاهُ فَوْقَ ثَلَاثٍ
Do not hate each other, do not envy each other, do not turn away from each other, but rather be servants of Allah as brothers. It is not lawful for a Muslim to boycott his brother for more than three days.
Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5718, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi
With Love,

Umm Juwayriyah & Juwayriyah Ayed



Saturday, December 30, 2017

The BIG End of the Year Book List: Islamic Fiction Edition 2017









 It's the end of 2017 and it is time to roll out The Big End of the Year Book List: Islamic Fiction Edition! I love curating this list not just because I get to shout out some of the best Muslim authors, but also because I get to shine some light on books that might not have received a lot of publicity but they are real gems that deserved to be read and cherished. Needless to say, I enjoy supporting Muslim authors! They are the griots of our communities and ultimately their stories are our stories! So Alhamduleelah for 2017, the good of it and the trials from it as well! Congratulations to the 2017 new authors! Don't stop writing and telling our stories. And as always, if I didn't get all of the Islamic fiction books from 2017,  send me an email! I'll add you to the list!



1. Beneath Her Headscarf by Tohib Adejumo
After debuting as an online series which was read by over twenty thousand people, Beneath Her Headscarf (Khimar) by popular demand was decided to be published to retain its rightful status as a classic in the genre of Muslim fiction, and a must have in any Muslim home. When Ruqoyah met her friend, Aa’siyah at a convenient store again after a couple of years, she was partly happy and partly sad. Their friendship reminded her of a past she would rather forget but also stroke out a light path in her to manage the darkness of her suffocating matrimony. In this story of religious, emotional and spiritual conflicts, Ruqoyah will have to face her haunting past, and deal with it, without losing her family, friends, herself, and most importantly her relationship with Allah.





2. Amina's Voice by Hena KhanA 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 in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.





3. The Blessed Bananas: A Muslim Fable by Tayyaba Syed

Everyone in the village knows not to come near the cranky, old monkey Rico or his precious bananas. However, after some unwanted encounters, Rico learns a life-changing lesson. Find out how in this heart-warming tale of friendship, kindness and the power of prayer. Age range: 3-8 Grade level: Preschool-2nd







4. An Acquaintance by Saba Syed 


 An exciting story of a smart, driven young Muslim girl living in small town America who falls for the new guy at her high school. Family and friends misunderstand their developing relationship and Sarah struggles to be faithful to her moral code. As rumors of miscoduct cresando throughout the school year, what will become of their mere acquaintance...or is it more?














5. Saints and Misfits by S.K Ali
Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life...starring a Muslim teen. There are three kinds of people in my world: 1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They're in your face so much, you can't see them, like how you can't see your nose. 2. Misfits, people who don't belong. Like me--the way I don't fit into Dad's brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama's-Boy-Muhammad. Also, there's Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don't go together. Same planet, different worlds. But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right? 3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O'Connor's stories. Like the monster at my mosque. People think he's holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask. Except me.











6. Mommy's Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow    A young Muslim girl spends a busy day wrapped up in her mother’s colorful headscarf in this sweet andfanciful picture book from debut author and illustrator Jamilah Tompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn. A khimar is a flowing scarf that my mommy wears. Before she walks out the door each day, she wraps one around her head. A young girl plays dress up with her mother’s headscarves, feeling her mother’s love with every one she tries on. Charming and vibrant illustrations showcase the beauty of the diverse and welcoming community in this portrait of a young Muslim American girl’s life.
Written as a letter from a father to his daughter, Yo Soy Muslim is a celebration of social harmony and multicultural identities. The vivid and elegant verse, accompanied by magical and vibrant illustrations, highlights the diversity of the Muslim community as well as Indigenous identity. A literary journey of discovery and wonder, Yo Soy Muslim is sure to inspire adults and children alike.















8. What Am I? by Papatia Feauxzar

When Nouredine goes to his first day of school at Fitra Pre-School, his joy is crushed when one of his schoolmates asked, ‘What are you?’ and mockeries ensued. He turns to his parents for an answer which satisfies him. This book uses a theist approach to discuss race issues with biracial children from Black and White parents. We can all agree that the 'What Race Are You?' is an inevitable question biracial and mixed race children will face at least once in their lives if not permanently. Nouredine's father is an American citizen originally from the Balkans. His mother is also a US citizen originally from West Africa. Nouredine is American and was born in Texas. Depending on how the reader looks at it, Nouredine can be considered African-American, biracial or multi-racial





9. Tight Rope by Sahar Abdulaziz 
The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim … In a socially and politically divided country after the presidential election, activist and American Muslim Nour Ibrahim prepares to deliver a speech at an anti-hate rally condemning the surge of attacks against people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and anyone else deemed different or disposable. As her inbox overflows with racist, xenophobic threats, she struggles to remain focused, refusing to give in to the fear. Concerns for her safety during the speech mount as one ruthless stalker escalates his terror campaign. Bitter and blinded by hate, he’s not satisfied with merely keeping Nour from speaking out: he threatens to silence her for good. Stressed by the impending rally, a stabbing pain in her gut, and an Internet psycho who has her in his crosshairs, Nour begins to wonder—which one will kill her first? Author of As One Door Closes, The Broken Half, Secrets That Find Us, and But You LOOK Just Fine, native born American Muslim author Sahar Abdulaziz uses her writing platform and voice to advocate for the underrepresented and marginalized. Her multidimensional characters have been described as having “substance and soul.”






10. Little Blue Skater Boy by Shoohada Khanom 

When Isa is asked to take biriyani to his Nanni's house, some one decides to jump out at him and then tag along. A re-telling of 'Little Red Riding Hood' with many twists.










11. Reverencing The Wombs That Broke You by Umm Zakiyyah
Her mother was raped. This is how Melanie was born. For years, the sight of Melanie's face reminded her mother of the sexual assault, so Melanie herself was verbally and physically abused through childhood. But Melanie's obligation was to love and honor her mother, she told herself. This is what Melanie believed as a Christian, and it's what she believed even more so after converting to Islam. In the Qur'an, God commanded, "Reverence the wombs that bore you." But what if those wombs broke you, and incited deep emotional trauma? What then? In this groundbreaking book about healing from family abuse, internationally acclaimed author Umm Zakiyyah shares the true story of Melanie Davidson, a daughter of rape and abuse, whose commitment to family and self-healing offers lessons to us all. Each glimpse into Melanie's life is followed by powerful commentary inspired by the words of mental health professionals, the teachings of divine texts, and the experiences of abuse survivors themselves.







12. The Gauntlet by Karuna Riaza
A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair.
















13. Game Over by Anwar Diggins

Does your child play video games all the time? Game Over, Life Outside of Video Games Chronicles the experiences of 11 year old Anwar Diggins after his video games were taken away. Game Over encourages children to play outside, spend time with family and find things to do outside of games. A must read for the gamer in your life. Written by 13 year old Anwar Diggins.












14. There is Greatness in Me by Ameenah Diggins
A must read book for all children. There is Greatness in me. Written by mother daughter team Ameenah Muhammad-Diggins and Amaya Diggins. Forward by Maryum "May May" Ali. This is a powerful book because it teaches you how to use positive self-talk. Positive self-talk is when you say good things about yourself to yourself. This kind of talk can give you more confidence and motivate you to be the person you want to be. Loving who you are and believing in your abilities can also help you achieve your goals and your dreams. Many of the most successful people in the world have used positive self-talk, and it is important for you to learn how to speak this way too.







15. Jennah's First Hijab by Halimah A. Deoliveira

 Join nine-year old Jennah on her very first adventure where she discovers the world of Hijab. Also learn some interesting facts from Jennah about why girls and women wear hijab.











16. My Special Angels: The Two Noble Scribes by Razana Noor
Beside every person's shoulder, there are two angels. Muslims know them as the Kiraman Katibin (the noble scribes). They write down every deed, good and bad, from a person's first day to their last. Inside this book you will find out all about them, and how to turn those bad deeds into good ones, with a lovable and cheeky young boy. Did you know that two special angels write down your every action, from the day you were born?





17. Ramadan Without Daddy by Misbah Akhtar

The concept of Divorce is very challenging for young children. This book is based around a Muslim family and the story of young Khadija helping her mother and brother. The story gives many opportunities for positive discussion for parents and educators wanting to explore this difficult concept with balanced sensitivity from an Islamic perspective.















18. Muhiima's Quest by Rahma Rodaah

Although her family does not celebrate birthdays, Muhiima wakes on the morning of her 10th birthday to an unusual surprise. Her mother gives her a carefully drawn map with instructions not to ask questions, but to simply follow the map. Muhiima sets off on her bicycle to begin a quest that will take her all around town. At each destination on the map she is gifted with an important message and a mysterious little box. Travel with Muhiima on her journey and discover how the pieces of this puzzle come together. Muhiima’s Quest is a story of self-discovery and a celebration of diversity with the message that our heritage and faith are what make us unique and special.








19. The Project by George Green

The Project is the story of Ibrahim and his friends, who are determined to work together as a team to win first prize at their school science fair. However, Yasin decides to make an effort to complete the project alone. This is a story of how much more can be achieved as part of a team than individually and the unexpected rewards that teamwork can deliver. The Project, the second book from 'Childhood Champions', a series of stories about a group of Muslim children in New York City and their daily adventures.























20.  Fatima Makes the Bread by Adeola Little 

Empowering! Funny! Adventurous! Spiritual! Positive! Beautiful! When Fatima's mommy wakes up one morning feeling sick, she asks her 7 year old daughter Fatima to make the bread for the family. It is a daunting task- Fatima has never made the bread alone before. Despite many challenges Fatima relies on her spirituality and her big brother to help get the job done. "Fatima Makes the Bread" provides opportunities to be silly, to laugh, to teach, and to be reminded of the inner strength that we all possess. The tale features strong male and female characters and is set in Mali, Africa.














21. Zaynab's Enchanted Scarf by Robyn Abdusamad 


Zaynab’s Enchanted Scarf teaches young readers about the historical contributions of Africans and African-Americans with beautiful illustrations that reflect the modernization of today as well as the past. Join Zaynab on a magical trip where she finds the courage and strength to find her way home.  In this book, which is part of a series, little Zaynab travels to Africa to meet Queen Amina, Mansa Musa and Egyptian Royalty Ramses and Nefertiti.   














The trials and triumphs of young girls can be both difficult and amazing.  The girls in the town of Tinselee face highs and lows of life, all while learning from each situation.  Life as a pre-teen and teenage girl is a myriad of experiences that include issues with self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth, but include cherished moments like gaining friends, achieving goals, and learning more about self.  Many times, young girls feel alone or as if no one understands what they are going through.  "Muslim + Girl + Life" explores the world of a group of girls who, in a variety of ways, overcome life's hurdles and are drawn to a spiritual path where they learn more about themselves and each other.






23. Yaffa and Fatima, Shalom Salam by Fawzia Gilani-Williams 

Two neighbors--one Jewish, one Muslim--have always been best friends. When they both fall on hard times, can they find a way to help each other? In Fawzia Gilani's retelling of this folktale--which has both Jewish and Arab origins--differences are not always causes for conflict and friendship can overcome any obstacle.











                                                                                                                   24.  The Muslims by Zanib Mian



Omar is a kid with a huge imagination. He knows a thing or two about getting through life as a nine year old Muslim in Britain. When Omar's life is turned upside down as he moves to a new school and becomes the school bully's new victim, his imagination goes into overactive mode. He attempts to apply the Islamic teachings his family have equipped him with, to his now very challenging life, with entertaining results!  The story unfolds with comic craziness as Omar learns to get comfortable with both his British, and Muslim heritage. This book is laugh-out-loud funny. It will have every kid giggling with familiarity! It also provides a window into the lives of an average Muslim family for those wishing to learn about other cultures.





























25. The Muslims: A Graphic Novel by Ahmad Phillips

The Muslims is about 2 kids, Hani and Huda, and the lessons they learn through everyday life. Each chapter tackles different moral issues such as stealing, sharing, being grateful and much more. Join Hani and Huda as they learn different aspects of Islam through their own life experiences.











26. Tried & Tested by Umm Juwayriyah
A teenage Iman Johnson left home over a decade ago to follow behind a steet loving hustler who promised her the world. When that world became too much for her to endure, mentally and physically, she found herself back in Pittsburgh, PA at her Muslim mother’s doorstep seeking refuge. But will the Muslim family and community that she’d turned her back on years ago be ready to finally accept her or has too much time, emotions, hurt, and secrets built up between them to overcome? Iman will have to find the strength to face her past and relearn the basics if she ever hopes to find the sweetness of faith Allah promises …

On sale for $3.99