For Kids

 

 

This is what I was like as a child…

I have 3 brothers – Hamzah, Talha, and Osman.

I was born in Bahrain and grew up in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. My character Lailah from Lailah’s Lunchbox grew up in Abu Dhabi too!
I love my Nani (mother’s mother) and Nana Abu (mother’s father)!
Here’s my grandparents and me in 2019. (Sadly, my grandfather died from Covid-19 in 2020. I miss him!)
My cousin Amena and I – we are still best friends!

 

 

Who were your favorite authors when you were a child?

I loved Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, and the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. I also enjoyed the series All-of-a-Kind-Family by Sydney Taylor. I loved so many other books too!

How do I become an author?

Read many many many books any chance you can get! Reading the work of others inspires me to keep writing. And don’t give up!

My cousin Noah and I reading together!

What do you enjoy reading now?

I still read many many picture books and middle grade books! I read a handful of YA books, and a few books for adults. My favorite section in the library is the children’s section. For series, I love the Jasmine Toguchi series by Debbi Michiko Florence and Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi (we aren’t related!). I love classic novels in verse like Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse and contemporary ones like All of Me by Chris Baron. I love the Zayd Saleem series by Hena Khan too as the characters remind me of my family. I also love the title and this book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.

I also really enjoyed Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga. I also enjoyed this picture book, Each Kindness and all the rest of Jacqueline Woodson’s books!

More about my family…

My Parents

 

These are my parents! My mother has 7 brothers and sisters and my father has 4 brothers and sisters. I have 25 cousins! They live all over the world, but mostly Pakistan, the US, and Canada.

My Dadi and Dada

These are my father’s parents. My grandmother was really smart and I’m writing a picture book biography about her unique life titled Milloo’s Mind.

 

My Cousins

 

I don’t have any sisters so my cousins Amena and Asna are like my sisters. My main character Nurah’s best friend in my book Unsettled is named Asna. and I’m currently working on a series with a spunky character named Amena!

My Dadi and I

Dadi means father’s mother in Urdu. Here is a picture of me with Pyarijan (means loved one in urdu) in her house in Pakistan a few years ago. She loved dressing up and wearing colorful clothes with matching jewelry.

How do I become an author?

Read many many many books!