Amina’s Song by Hena Khan. Aladdin, 2021. 9781534459885
Format: ARC (3/21 pub date)
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? Amina, a Pakistani-American middle schooler, has just returned from a family trip to Pakistan. She misses her extended family already and is determined to share the beauty and culture of the country. When a classroom project on Malala Yousafzai prompts her classmates to feel sorry for the people of Pakistan because of the violence suffered by Malala, Amina feels challenged to break through their stereotyped view. In the meantime, Amina begins a friendship with a Turkish American boy who is helping her set her songs to music. Is this a romance, which her parents would forbid? Or is this a genuine friendship?
Readers will be introduced to a typical Muslim American family and their religious practices and mores. Amina narrates the story, and she is very much a relatable kid figuring out relationships and boundaries. Her voice is gentle and her world is family oriented.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? This is a companion novel to Amina’s Voice, and is easily enjoyed out of sequence. Offer to elementary and middle school readers who enjoy realistic fiction, especially those who crave cozy, family-centered stories. And readers looking for #ownvoices titles with Muslim characters should enjoy this as well.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: February 7, 2021