Last year, we wrote about Salaam Reads, a new imprint from Simon and Schuster that specifically champions Muslim-themed books or books by Muslim authors. The first two books are available now and they are beautiful.
“Amina’s Voice” by Hena Khan ($16.99) is about Amina, who is now in middle school and feeling torn between the friend she grew up with and her culture. Her friend, Soojin, is now hanging out with one of the cool girls, leaving Amina behind. The story is one of assimilation, which many cultures have gone through. Do you change your name to a more English-sounding name? Do you continue to keep your holy day or go out with friends on Friday. How do you walk the line between traditional parents and school friends?
“The Guantlet” by Karuna Riazi ($16.99) is sort of like “Maze Runner”and “Jumanji” but with an Arabic cultural twist. Farah finds an old fashioned board game and begins to play it. The game takes her and her friends Essie and Alex inside. Each move they get farther and farther into the game and away from home. Will they escape? You’ll have to read to find out.