Lailah’s Lunchbox
*2019 Daybreak Children’s Picture Book Award — Recognizing Muslim Women’s Contributions to Literature*
*Notable Social Studies Trade Book For Young People 2016, a cooperative Project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council*

*Featured Book of the Month, Anti-Defamation League*
*American Library Association Notable Book for Children 2016*
*Skipping Stones Honor 2016*
*International Literacy Association Choices Reading List

My book was featured in The New York Times and Washington Post.

Amira’s Picture Day – 3 Starred Reviews!

  “Faruqi effectively builds up the excitement to celebrate Eid and balances it with Amira’s distress at missing Picture Day—readers will see that both are important. The characters and interactions at the masjid are real, reinforcing a community celebrating Eid, and so are Amira’s interactions with her classmates. Azim’s illustrations pair well with Faruqi’s words, focusing on facial expression as well as body language to highlight the mixed emotions: excitement, sadness, surprise. There is much diversity among the people at the masjid, including hijab styles, other attire, and racial presentation. . . . Sweet and sympathetic.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review 

 “Faruqi’s prose is sweetly descriptive (“Tiny mirrors on her blue shalwar kameez shone happily in the sunlight”), and jewel-toned digital illustrations by Azim have a joyful, comics-style sensibility, with meticulous attention paid to the attire of the diverse crowd at the masjid. An endearing portrait of one child’s specific cultural concern, with universal appeal for any reader ever caught between conflicting commitments. Back matter includes an author’s note, more information on Eid, and a glossary. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

★ “Deceptively simple, Faruqi’s narrative gently addresses the impact that the celebration of ­non-­Judeo-Christian holidays has on children and choices families make to uphold traditions. Moreover, Amira’s conflicted feelings and insistence on finding a solution create opportunities for dialogue about the importance of acknowledging spaces that matter to children, especially while families try to foster positive identity. Azim’s illustrations are fun and colorful, with tiny details reflecting the family’s personality, while the people attending Eid celebrations at Amira’s masjid are ­racially and culturally diverse, with varied skin tones, body types, and expressions of fashion and style.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review

Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of the Year

Chicago Public Library Best of 2021 Picture Books
A CSMCL Best Multicultural Children’s Book of the Year


“Faruqi’s use of free verse will captivate readers with its metaphors that emphasize feelings and details of daily life. Middle schoolers who struggle with fitting in will resonate with the story while also receiving a glimpse into the lives of a Pakistani immigrant family. Lyrical. Hopeful. Poignant.” – Kirkus Reviews, Starred.

Unsettled by Reem Faruqi on the May/June Kids’ Indie Next List Preview
“A must–read. Nurah is an immediately captivating, inspiring, and courageous protagonist. I only wish I could have read a book like this when I growing up. At once an enlightening and relatable read with a message that cannot be ignored.” – Stephanie Skees, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO

Indie Next Lists | Maria's Bookshop

“Playful and heartfelt, this is a book about family missed and friendship found, of making mistakes, speaking up, and learning to flourish in a new home,” – Rajani LaRocca says on

“A lyrical coming of age story exploring family, immigration, and most of all belonging.” —Aisha Saeed, New York Times bestselling author of Amal Unbound

“This empowering story will resonate with people who have struggled to both fit in and stay true to themselves.” —Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor author of The Night Diary

“A gorgeously written story, filled with warmth and depth.” —Hena Khanauthor of Amina’s Voice

“Writing in spare but evocative verse, author Reem Faruqi creates a vivid and semiautobiographical tale of faith and family. Unsettled will have readers rooting for Nurah as she swims her way across the finish line to a new understanding of herself and her place in the world.” – BookPage Review

National Council of Teachers of English Notable Verse Novel

#1 Indie Bestseller

Kirkus Best Middle Grade Books for 2021

Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Finalist for Older Readers 2022

2021 Nerdy Winner for Novels in Verse and Poetry

3 Starred Reviews !

★ “An illuminating glimpse into how a young child learns to trust her instinct and be kind to others.” – Starred Review, Kirkus.

★ “I Can Help is a memorable story about the rippling and lingering effects of cruelty and the redeeming power of kindness.” Book Page Reviews, Starred

★ “The tightly written narrative could lead to discussions about handling peer pressure, dealing with ethical predicaments, and learning from one’s mistakes.” -ALA BookList Reviews, Starred

Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2021 for ages 6-8