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Middle schooler Amina is facing a world of change on the home front as family members from Pakistan come to visit, and on the school front as her best friend Soojin befriends another classmate.
This is an amazing, heartfelt story. I can totally relate to Amina. My parents are originally from India and the immigrated to Canada. I was born in Canada and I am also a muslim. I am so grateful to read great book like this. I am inspired by Hena and want to be a writer when i grow up.
Thank you for writing this.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It's a great middle grade novel and great messages about diversity, community, family, and friends. I love how relatable and realistic the characters are. I found myself routing for Amina to find her voice! I highly recommend this book for grades 3 and up.
This is a heartfelt story of family, friendship, faith and finding one’s voice. I loved the of sense of community conveyed in the novel and how supportive everyone was of one another, and how they were able to come together when it mattered.
Have you ever struggled to overcome your fears? Have you ever desperately wished you could be someone else in order to fit in with others? Have you ever been simultaneously proud and mortified by your family or community? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Amina’s Voice is the perfect book for you. As a sixth-grade girl, Amina must learn to reconcile her traditional Islamic upbringing with the oft-perceived undisciplined American culture she is immersed in throughout her school days. She learns to navigate changing friendships, family expectations, and a devastating loss to her community. Through it all, she finds her true voice through singing, but most of all by learning to take pride in her culture and identity.
The author explores the tension of first-generation immigrants as they attempt to blend traditions of the Muslim faith and culture within modern America. This book offers a gentle, familial look into Islamic culture and faith within the context of American pressures and misconceptions. Whether you are a middle schooler or middle ager, this novel poignantly highlights the struggles all humans face as we seek to relate to others and find our voice in the world.
Reviewed by Ms. Tamara
Amina is a Pakistani-American kid who is worried about singing in public, her uncle's visit, and her best friend, Soojin, who seems to be becoming best friends with Emily, a girl who bullied both of them in elementary school over their names and the food they brought from home for lunch. She's also worried about her older brother, Mustafa, who has changed into a guy who slacks off on his homework and spends hours in the bathroom on his hair and personal hygiene.
Amina often feels like an outsider in her school, but her friendship with Soojin, which began because they both had names that are constantly mispronounced by others, is a constant. She loves music, talented as a singer and a pianist, but doesn't like Sunday school at her mosque because she can never pronounce the Arabic correctly.
She makes plenty of mistakes, but learns about taking responsibility, apologizing when she hurts someone (even if it's unintentional), and about the importance of loving who she is and where she comes from.
This is the first offering from Simon and Schuster's Muslim fiction imprint, Salaam Reads, and it's a solid book. It helps that the author, Hena Khan, is also Pakistani-American and Muslim, making this a good #OwnVoices pick if you're seeking out diverse reads for yourself or your kids.
I picked this book up because various events spurred me to make sure my kids are educated about Islam and the Muslim experience in the US, from the point of view of Muslims. Hena Khan, who is a Pakistani-American Muslim, captures this in a lovely middle grade novel with one of the strongest, most individual protagonists I've read in a long time. Amina is a gentle soul, full of talent and nervousness and a desperately youthful desire to please and do the right thing that reminded me painfully of both my niece and my own young self. Her conflicts with her friends at school are relatable but completely convincingly unique, as are her family dynamics.
I ended up rooting for basically everyone in this book to be successful and happy. I cried at the final conflict, which I won't spoil except to say that it is hard to be Muslim in America. I felt certain that everything in this book was true and none of it was exaggerated or minimized. This feeling of honesty and vulnerability is what made me love it. And the fact that I was able to read it in two hours while sitting in an armchair in direct sunlight probably also helped.
THIS BOOK WAS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think that "Amina's Voice" is a great book and it is very well written. It is about being who you are, honouring your culture, family, and friendship. There are lots of different parts to the story and it all fits together perfectly. I found the book very inspiring and I hope I can find another book like it to read.
A highly realistic portrayal of a middle schooler's emotional responses to life events both big and small. Changing friendship dynamics, visits from extended family members, public performance anxieties, differences in religion, language, race, and culture, and vandalism hate crimes. Shy Amina must figure out how to face it all while negotiating who she is and her place in her community.
I can totally relate to Amina. I never liked being in the spotlight especially when I was younger. Amina is dealing with a couple of issues that I think a lot of kids can relate to including feeling abandoned by a close friend and feeling like she might need to change in order to keep that friend. I love how Amina develops throughout this book and have to say that the ending did not disappoint.
A very sweet story about a middle schooler navigating friendship, family, and her place amongst it all.
Amina's Voice is an interesting book that focuses on friendship, culture, and speaking up against prejudice. I absolutely loved the friendship aspect of this book and I think what Amina and Soojin go through is quite genuine. Just a wonderfully sweet and clever short read!
Absolutely loved this! I could immediately connect to Amina and was completely captivated by the story. This MG novel by an #OwnVoices author is one not to be missed. I can't wait to read future works of the author.
While I don’t think this is an absolutely great book, I do think it is a solidly good and important one. I loved Amina and her spirit and I definitely related to the friend and family dynamics. Not a lot happens, though, and sometimes the story felt a little too neatly packaged and reminiscent of an American made-for-TV movie. But the fact that it felt that way while the main character and her family are Muslim is refreshing.
Amina could be any American girl - she has overprotective parents, worries about her best friend seeming to befriend a girl they had both disliked, and is nervous about the idea of auditioning for a solo in the school choir. Amina also just happens to be Pakistani-American, and a Muslim, and when the mosque her family belongs to is vandalized, her school and friend problems are diminished as she tries to find her voice in support of her family and community. This is a well-told and accessible story that will be enjoyed by many middle grade readers.
A wonderful read. I felt as if I was reading from my own childhood: An Indian relative visiting and being critical of our American lifestyle; the struggle of the letter 'haa' in arabic; some kids at sunday school ironically being a bad influence; the kids at home all stacked up in front of the TV playing video games; girls all wearing desi clothing at get-togethers; all of the amazing cooking; the vandalization of our local Islamic center and all of the support from our community, including local churches offering space to us to continue our sunday school; grade school life... This book is a great read for kids wanting a real look into an average Muslim's life in America (especially ones with desi roots)
This is a fantastic diverse book for middle grades. Khan included Arabic and Urdu languages as well as Muslim practices in order to "normalize" it in a text that teens and tweens can read and see it as something that's real, that's in our country, and that is not scary. Readers can learn a lot about Pakistan culture, the languages spoken there, and the religious practices of the people. Diversity is a gift, and this book is one that really shows it!