What Social Media Doesn’t Tell You…

The squares don’t always show the truth.

Something I hate about social media is the perfection of it all. On Instagram, we are forced to see glimpses of people’s lives in evenly spaced square photos. People usually share the good, not so much the bad.

I’ve said it before and will say it again, there are 2 worlds.

1, The World of Sick.

1, The World of the Healthy People.

When sick, your Wants float away and all you can focus on is basic and primal Needs , eating and sleeping and let’s be real, using the bathroom. All basic privileges.

-If I eat this food will I be able to digest it and not throw up?
-Will I be able to sleep in comfort and without pain?
-Will I be able to use bathroom with ease?

When you’re well, you’re so busy focusing on what’s next, what you can do, and life is a russssh.

When you’re sick, there are 2 kinds. You’re either up and caring for everyone and still sick, going through the motions. You acclimate to a slower and messier home. But You are-up- and-about-sick. Soon you will be thriving again.

Then when you’re Really Sick, you can’t go through the motions or even do basic tasks because they’re out of your scope. A load of laundry, a task too lofty. Getting out of bed, too much work. Going down stairs, unreachable. Your needs boil down to primal ones.

If you’re in bed and scrolling through Instagram, You wonder if it was tiring for the woman at the holiday party to twirl for the camera in three different dresses, if washing her made up face felt draining. You wonder if the mom with the marble white counter thinks sharing an elaborate spread of food on Instagram feels it’s worth it, if all the travelers are really living their best life.
You are sick of everything being on sale and seeing sooo many “dreamy” products – this mascara looks like falsies, the perfect gift guides – these socks are the one, this lamp will transform your life. Do they know that sick people wouldn’t pay for products? They would pay simply to Feel Better.

If you get better and straddle both the healthy world and land of sick, enter gently because You must remember You are starting over. Fragile. Newborn like. Slow.

I know it’s been a long season for those who have been unwell, for those who are unwell no matter the season. I see you. I’ve Been there. Prayers🙏

And Ayub, when he called (to) his Lord, “Indeed, Pain has touched me, and You (are) Most Merciful (of) the Merciful”)

(Qur’an 21:83)

I had been wanting to blog exciting book things for a while, but I got sick, and everything felt like it took Effort. On this blog, I don’t only want to highlight the good because hardship happens too. I am better now, alhamdolillah (praise be to God!) and hope all stays well and am very thankful for my mother who able to spend full days in my sick house helping.

Without further ado, bookish updates…

Cover Reveal for CALL ME ADNAN!

I’m so excited to share this cover reveal of CALL ME ADNAN! I will interview the cover illustrator Hazem Asif on my blog soon about how he created this dreamy cover! Info about my new novel in verse:


Adnan Zakir loves table tennis. One thing he doesn’t like is losing. He’s colorblind, left-handed, and has an obsession for the aviation alphabet. His big sister, Aaliyah, is great at memorizing the Quran and his little brother, Rizwan, wants to grow up and play table tennis like his big brother. Adnan dreams of making it to the Ultimate Table Tennis Championship in Florida, but first he must qualify at his local Atlanta playoffs. If he qualifies for the tournament, he will get to spend the Eid holiday with his cousins!

But when the unthinkable happens, Adnan swears he’ll never play table tennis ever again. And he and his family must learn to find hope once more.

Acclaimed author Reem Faruqi has written a stirring middle grade novel about a family that must cope with terrible loss and come together as one again.
Pre-order now!

The incredible artwork is by Hazem Asif @worldofhazem
The stunning cover design is by: @mollyfehr

GOLDEN GIRL named for Best Middle Grade Books of 2022 by BookPage!

Best Middle Grade Books for 2022 by Book Page!

GOLDEN GIRL was named as one of the best Middle Grade books for 2022 by Book Page! Link to see the book featured amongst some beautiful books here! If you haven’t read Golden Girl yet, do so here!

A blurb: In spare, carefully chosen words, Faruqi builds an absorbing drama that rings with authenticity and emotion. Golden Girl cements her place as one of the brightest rising stars in children’s literature.

And some other exciting things for GOLDEN GIRL:

2022 Nerdy Winner for Novels in Verse and Poetry

Newburyport Library Favorites of 2022

2022 Kids and Young Adult Bestsellers at Charis Books

Best Children’s Books of 2022 â€“ Feminist Books for Kids

Bock Book Award for I CAN HELP!

I CAN HELP won the 2022 Bock Book Award presented to us by Neumann University! The talented illustrator Mikela Prevost and I got to have a conversation with students and accept the award virtually. After the ceremony, students put the message of the book into action by making care packages. Thank you to the award committee for this honor!

Kirkus Starred Review: MILLOO’S MIND

MILLOO’S MIND got a starred review from Kirkus! It’s illustrated by Hoda Hadadi and releases in 10 days on Jan 17th, 2023! Pre-order it here. Pre-ordering tells the publisher you like the author’s work!

MILLOO’S MIND was also chosen by Politics and Prose for the store’s January First Editions Club pick. 

Kirkus Review Here:
The true story of Maryam Faruqi, an Indian woman who fought for girls’ education rights.When Maryam—called Milloo—reads, her “thoughts dance…, her mind breathe[s], and her heart hum[s].” Shy Milloo doesn’t speak up in class, though—until the day her teacher doesn’t show up and she takes control of the class, awakening a desire to teach. Though in 1930s India, girls weren’t expected to pursue an education, she finishes not only school, but also college. Her teaching plans are dashed when her husband says she can’t work. But that doesn’t stop her—as she often says, “Enough is enough!” Milloo eventually moves to Karachi, Pakistan, and founds Happy Home Schools, helping thousands of girls to follow her example and obtain educations. This biographical picture book is elegantly told and splendidly illustrated. Powerful prose underscores Milloo’s determination and the importance of gender equity in education. Rose-ringed parakeets fly across the endpapers as a graduation robe flaps in the wind, and floral and faunal motifs can be found throughout. The detailed art invites readers to linger over each page, poring over collaged outfits and patterns, all of which evoke a strong sense of place. In an appended note, the author—Maryam Faruqi’s granddaughter—offers more information about Milloo’s life and work. (This book was reviewed digitally.)A stirring tale of grit and perseverance. (glossary)(Picture-book biography. 5-8)

If you are on Twitter or Instagram, I am doing a Giveaway for Milloo’s Mind here!

I Presented at the NCTE Conference!

Seeing people in real life not a screen makes a difference. You see the pattern of their curls, the sparkle of their eyes, the glow of their skin, and how they light up when they talk books! I met these talented authors below!

Snippets of Anaheim, California


I got to meet my childhood nanny in Anaheim after 24 years (!!) – hugging her felt like muscle memory.

A Young Adult Book I Loved:


Couldn’t put this down. This story you will read in one gulp and hold your breath until the end.

You will cheer for Leene and Khadija, two strong and powerful Syrian – American characters, who will grab your heart from the first pages. Debut Author Ream Shukairy @ream_shu seamlessly shifts from one point-of-view of each character to the other making this story unforgettable.

This novel has an epic plot twist that will make you gasp and I loved the imperfect family dynamic that Shukairy compellingly created.

This is an incredible debut, please make sure to pre-order!

Thank you to the booth at National Council Teachers of English for this arc. Also I can’t stop staring at the gorgeous cover!

#thenextnewsyriangirl

A Picture Book I Loved!

What a stunning debut book from author-illustrator Natasha Khan Kazi! Kazi’s lines are lyrical and as magical as the moon art she has created. Lines like this resonated with me:

– Moon marvels as friends of different faiths share a meal to celebrate. Together, they rise like bread.

The art is dreamy and has hues like the purple veil of twilight that will encourage readers to linger over the pages. The starry art is splendidly illustrated. I loved how the Moon looks down on Earth and each page travels to a different and beautiful part of the world celebrating Ramadan. This story felt like a cozy hug from the Moon! Muslim children today are so lucky to have many beautiful Ramadan books to choose from today. This Ramadan book stands out for its unique perspective of being told from the Moon’s point of view- genius!

For teachers, this book is a must-have for the classroom. It touches on geography around the world and the scientific lunar phases of the moon. Muslim children will feed pride to see themselves reflected back in these stunning pages. I cannot wait for more beautiful books from Natasha Khan Kazi. Pre-order here!

I Attended Kate’s Kid Book Bash!

I got to meet Brittany Thurman, Donna Gephart, and Caroline Carlson at Kate’s Kid Book Bash. All 3 are talented authors and their books made some great gifts for the young people in my life! Thank you Larry Rippel for the photo! Full Disclosure: this was probably my 2nd last day of feeling healthy before I got really sick!

Anisa’s International Day Featured in Education Choices Magazine

I was interviewed here about ANISA’S INTERNATIONAL DAY! Check out the magazine here.

Lailah’s Lunchbox was on the official book list of the Scripps National Spelling Bee!

See the official book list here.

Thank You from Me!

Thank you for all your support thus far whether it’s through buying one of my books, leaving a kind review, borrowing my book from the library and telling someone about it, or being a loyal reader! I really, really appreciate it! Thank you for reading and wishing you health, happiness, faith and more!

2 Comments

  1. I am always glad your posts share the difficulties as well as the joy. That Qur’an quote is exactly what I needed right now too. Feeling grateful for every moment my health has improved lately, alhamdulillah. I and mine are looking forward to your upcoming novel in verse!

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