New Releases

Amira’s Picture Day (Holiday House) for April 6th, 2021.  Illustrated by FAHMIDA AZIM

★ Starred Review from Kirkus:

“Sweet and Sympathetic. Amira’s happy during Eid prayers and when greeting friends and family—until she remembers Picture Day. But maybe there’s a way she can do both? 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.” – Kirkus, Starred Review

★Starred Review from School Library Journal:

“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. A lovely addition to the collection of books about Eid that can be used all year long.” – School Library Journal, Starred Review

★Starred Review from Publishers Weekly:

 “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.) 

Ramadan is over and Amira can’t wait to celebrate Eid. Spotting the new moon, she celebrates because Eid is tomorrow and she gets to miss school to go to the mosque for the Eid prayer and brunch.  But then she realizes that tomorrow is Picture Day at school. How will her class remember her if she’s not in the class picture? What will Amira do? 

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2. Unsettled (Harper Collins) Summer 2021. Cover Art by Soumbal Qureshi.

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This is my debut Middle Grade book and I can’t wait for you to read it! Info behind the book deal going to auction is here. An interview with the illustrator Soumbal Qureshi and cover designer Molly Fehr on designing this cover is here.

cover design by Molly Fehr. Illustration by Soumbal Qureshi.

 Starred Review from Kirkus Reviews:

★ “Lyrical. Hopeful. Poignant. 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.” – Kirkus Reviews, Starred

3. I Can Help (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) August 10th, 2021. Illustrated by Mikela Provost.

Zahra often happily volunteers to help a fellow classmate who needs a little extra assistance in school. It is only when she gets picked on by two popular students for helping him, she decides to distance herself from the fellow classmate to fit in more with her popular classmates. Later, she feels regret for her actions, but it is too late. Now, she decides to take matters into her own hands…

★ “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

 3. Golden Girl (Harper Collins 2022).

cover design by Molly Fehr. Illustration by Anoosha Syed.

Award-winning author Reem Faruqi delivers a powerful and relatable story that will leave readers with laughter, hope, and lessons learned. This middle grade novel in verse tackles difficult topics in a poignant way, and is infused with humor and family dynamics.

Seventh grader Aafiyah Qamar loves playing tennis, reading weird-but-true facts, and hanging out with her best friend, Zaina. However, Aafiyah has a bad habit that troubles her—she’s drawn to pretty things and can’t help but occasionally “borrow” them.

But when her father is falsely accused of a crime he hasn’t committed and gets taken in by authorities, Aafiyah knows she knows she needs to do something to help. When she brainstorms a way to bring her father back, she turns to her weird-but-true facts and devises the perfect plan.

But what if her plan means giving in to her bad habit, the one she’s been trying to stop? Aafiyah wants to reunite her family, but finds that maybe her plan isn’t so perfect after all. . . .

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4. Milloo’s Mind (HarperCollins 2023). To be Illustrated by Hoda Hadadi.

5. Anisa’s International Day (Harper Collins Fall 2022) To be illustrated by Aaliyah Jaleel

6. Lailah’s Lunchbox (Tilbury House 2015) Illustrated by Lea Lyon.

You can read more about my award-winning book Lailah’s Lunchbox here, and order it here.

Lailah is in a new school in a new country, thousands of miles from her old home, and missing her old friends. When Ramadan begins, she is excited that she is finally old enough to participate in the fasting but worried that her classmates won’t understand why she doesn’t join them in the lunchroom.

Lailah solves her problem with help from the school librarian and her teacher and in doing so learns that she can make new friends who respect her beliefs. This gentle, moving story from first-time author Reem Faruqi comes to life in Lea Lyon’s vibrant illustrations. Lyon uses decorative arabesque borders on intermittent spreads to contrast the ordered patterns of Islamic observances with the unbounded rhythms of American school days.

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