“Representation matters!”, we scream while we desperately search for some diversity in the products of the creative industries. There is no exception for the publishing industry. That is why MVSLIM compiled a small list with 2017’s young adult books with the desired Muslim protagonists! And even better news is that all these books are #ownvoices, meaning that even the authors identify as Muslim.
- The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
28th March 2017
When Farah and her two best friends find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand – which is akin to a large Rubik’s cube – they know they must dismantle it to defeat the diabolical architect in order to save themselves and generations of other children, including her baby brother Ahmed.
- That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim
9th May 2017
Funny, imaginative Pakistani-American teen Shabnam Qureshi attends a tony private school in suburban New Jersey. When her friend Farah starts to wear a headscarf – without consulting her, mind you – she begins unraveling their friendship. Everything completely changes when she meets Jamie. Soon she pictures the two of them like the rose and the nightingale of classic Urdu poetry. Shabnam finds herself falling in love and Farah starts finds herself worrying about her friend. Who is Jamie? And what is his connection to a family tragedy during the Partition of India in 1947…
- Amina’s Voice by Hen Khan
14th March 2017
Amina never loved the spotlight. She is happy if only she can hang out with her best friend Soojin. But Soojin starts hanging out with Emily and even talks about changing her name to something more ‘American’. Does Amine need to change too? While she struggles to stay true to her Pakistani family vibrant culture while simultaneously trying to blend in at school, her community is devastated when the local mosque is vandalized.
- Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
13th June 2017
Janna Yusuf knows a lot about people. Especially people who can’t figure out what to make of her… an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who by the way is a book nerd, aspiring photographer and sometime graphic novelist. Suddenly Janna finds herself caring about what people think of her. Or at least, this boy… Jeremy… She is still trying to work all that out. While her heart leads her one direction and her mind another, Janna tries to decide what kind of person she wants to be and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster.
- The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain
12th January 2017
Fatima, Farah, Bubblee, and Mae are the four Amir sisters and the only young Muslims in the English village of Wyvernage. On the outside, the Amirs are happy, but on the inside each sister has a secret struggle. Fatima tries to find out who she is, Farah is a wife but longs to be a mother, Bubble is determined to become a London-based artist and May copes with YouTube stardom. But when family tragedy strikes, the Amir sisters end up growing closer to each other, learning more about life, love and faith.
- The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian
8th August 2017
Meet Daria Esfandyar, your average Iranian-American and proud of her heritage. That’s why Daria and her friends call themselves the Authentics, because they always keep it real. But during a school project, Daria learns a shocking truth about her past which launches her into a self-discovering adventure. Everyone seems to be keeping secrets from her and it gets harder and harder to know who she truly is. While everything is spinning out of control, can Daria stay to true to herself?
- The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
14th November 2017
Nahri never believed in magic. Though she has power as a con woman on the streets of 18 Cairo with unsurpassed talents. But she knows better that the trades she uses to get by – palm reading and healings – are tricks, learned skills. One day, Nahri accidentally conjures an equally sly, dark, and mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, forcing her to accept the existence of a world she believed to be a childhood story. When the warrior starts to tell her about The City of Brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound, she decides to enter this new world and learns that true power is brutal. There is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…
- The Other Half of Happiness by Ayisha Malik
6th April 2017
Sofia Khan just married but no one told her life was going to go this way… Her husband Conall is distant. Her mother forces them in a belated wedding ceremony. Sofia wonders if this might be the chance to bring her and her husband closer together. Yet, it only forced Conall to confess his darkest secret…
This article is written by Siham Machkour.