Threading My Prayer Rug by Sabeeha Rehman
Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir
First Released: 2016
Call Number: 305.8914 REH
Find It: Physical copy on the 3rd floor
This memoir begins with Rehman’s arranged marriage in Pakistan and her journey to the United States. It’s the classic immigrant story of learning to assimilate while raising children and still keeping traditions alive. She talks about how she practices her faith in a community that isn’t always welcoming. The book is funny in a lot of ways, particularly the passage when she describes her son wanting a Christmas tree, or when she talks about her nosey family members. It’s funny, heartwarming and not a portrayal of a Muslim woman that you normally see in American media.
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
First Released: 2018
Call Number: LP F MIRZA
Find It: Physical copy on the 3rd floor, eBook and eAudiobook
A Place for Us is a contemporary immigrant story, with the children trying to make their way through the world, trying to figure out which family traditions to keep and which to let go of. The children—Hadia, Huda and Amar—aren’t perfect, and they disappoint their traditional parents, especially their father. But as they gather for Hadia’s wedding, can they mend their rifts? The family’s Islamic faith plays a large role in the background of the story. This is a deeply rich and engrossing family drama with many layers.
Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices edited by S. K. Ali and Aisha Saeed
First Released: 2020
Call Number: YA F ONCE
Find It: Physical copy in the Vortex or eAudiobook
This is a collection of stories about Eid (the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan) written by Muslim authors. A couple of things that I loved about this book—one, it really shows how multicultural the Islamic faith is, with Muslims residing all over the globe. And two, the book focuses on the utter joy of celebrating Eid with family, food and festivities. I think people of any faith can identify with that. It’s rare to read a book that lets Muslims have joy. My favorite story was written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Sara Alfageeh, and entitled “Seraj Captures the Moon” because it’s about the anticipation Muslims feel about the sighting of the moon that signals the arrival of Eid. All in all, I enjoyed the breadth of stories in the collection and the representation of Muslims.
Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy
Genre: Graphic Novel
First Released: 2021
Call Number: YA F ONCE
Find It: Physical copy in the Vortex
Fahmy’s graphic novel is accessible for teens and adults. She writes about going through high school, at first being the only hijabi, then moving to a school where many of the girls wore hijabs. How will she adjust? Hilariously and awkwardly. She tries on a few personalities to find her true self, with her family and friends helping her along the way. I love that this book might be a mirror for Muslim girls who may need to see themselves portrayed on a page, but it’s also for any teen struggling to find their identity.
Find more Arab and Muslim voices in teen fiction.