Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
Publisher: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Summary: A 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.
Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.
My Rating: ★★★★★
My Thoughts: Amina’s Voice is a beautifully written and above all fantastic novel which weaves in important themes, following Amina Khokar as she navigates culture, family + friendship, and identity!
Amina’s Voice is a novel I highly recommend! It was fantastic!
Khan’s writing delivers so many facets to Amina’s story! Not only do we see Amina’s strong family dynamic, her struggles with shyness and fears of losing her closest friend Soojin, but also the questions she has about her culture and religion.
This novel discusses the importance of culture, faith, and community.
I don’t think I’ve read any novels with Pakistani/Muslim representation, but I’m glad Amina’s Voice was the first! I adored this novel so much!
Amina and Soojin are best friends, however when Emily (a classmate who’d bullied them in the past ) begins talking with Soojin and gets invited to join them on a class project, Amina feels she may be losing her best friend.
Additionally when Amina gets signed up by her parents for a Quran recitation (being extremely shy/nervous in front of crowds) she begins to feel her world is falling apart.
The first person POV allows the reader to get into Amina’s head, follow along her journey to find her voice and slowly but surely find strength to tackle the problems she encounters.
Family is a huge part of this novel. The importance and discussion of culture and faith is prevalent all throughout, especially when Amina’s uncle comes to visit.
I adored the family dynamic all through out this novel. Not only with Amina’s parents and brother, but also the dynamic of her strong/supportive community.
Regardless of age, I was able to relate to Amina so much at times I find it difficult to find my voice/speak my mind, but reading this novel just left me feeling hopeful and overall was an amazing + inspiring reading experience.
This novel is filled with such unforgettable characters and plot! If you have not read this book, definitely pick it up! You will not be disappointed.
As the story progresses, we learn that the local mosque is vandalized, and the community is devastated. However, the mosque slowly gets rebuilt with the help of so many people/communities rallying together.
Amina’s Voice is a novel that is relatable to anyone! Throughout the novel Khan weaves in themes of faith/religion, importance of family, identity and community, friendship, and the complexities of growing up.