Lailah’s Lunchbox

Here is my first published children’s book story! To be posted with updates about this book, please follow its Facebook page here!

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

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 Lailah’s Lunchbox – Tilbury House Publishers – published May 2015


The Anti-Defamation League created a teacher’s guide here. Please do check it out!

Lailah’s Lunchbox is on the American Library Association’s 2016 Notable Children’s Book List! We are so honored! Check out the complete list here.


We are also on the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2016 list here by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the the Children’s Book Council (CBC).

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Selection Process
The selection committee looks for books that emphasize human relations, represent a diversity of groups and are sensitive to a broad range of cultural experiences, present an original theme or a fresh slant on a traditional topic, are easily readable and of high literary quality, and have a pleasing format and, when appropriate, illustrations that enrich the text.

Delighted to know that we made the list through the selection process!

Lailah’s Lunchbox was also selected to the 2016 ILA-CBC Children’s Choices list, a cooperative project of the International Literacy Association (ILA) and the Children’s Book Council here.


We are on the Skipping Stone Honor List too!



We also were featured on the Anti-Defamation’s Book of the Month list here for November 2015!


Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3—Lailah recently moved from Abu Dhabi to Peachtree City, GA, and while she misses her friends back in the Middle East, she is very excited to be old enough to fast during Ramadan. However, being new is one thing, but being different is another. What if her class doesn’t know what Ramadan is? What if she is the only one fasting? Lailah falters when it is time to give Mrs. Penworth a note asking that she be excused from lunch, and she has to endure the tempting smells of food and kind offers of her classmates to share lunch. After escaping to the foodless library, the school librarian encourages Lailah to write down her feelings and share them with her teacher. After all, who knows what could come of sharing her culture? The large, often full-page watercolor illustrations provide gentle details that add depth to the text. A note and glossary round out the story, giving context from the author’s life and information about Islamic culture. Fans of Patricia Polacco will enjoy this heartfelt tale. VERDICT A solid addition for libraries in need of modern Ramadan stories.—Brittany Staszak, St. Charles Public Library, IL

A few Interviews/Articles about Lailah’s Lunchbox:

During Ramadan, Read These 3 Books by Muslim Authors – The New York Times

Teach your kids about Ramadan with these books – Washington Post

Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story – Georgia State University

 Read Little Muslims

How I Got a Book Deal!

Bookwars Review

How I Write Around Children! – Interview by Cynthia from Cynsations!

Guest Post: Inspiration behind Lailah’s Lunchbox! – Bookwars Blog

Author Interview and Future Plans – Blue Minaret

P.S. I’m Muslim! – Atlanta Muslim

Teacher Resources for Lailah’s Lunchbox:

Anti Defamation League Teacher Guide

A Detailed Lesson plan with Adjective Soup activity by Beauty and the Book Collection

A Mentor Text Activity to Asking Higher Level Questions Free Printable from Crafter’s Connection 

To view my published writings, see below!

The Express Tribune: Pyarijan Happy Home Founders Granddaughter Writes A Final Letter

Huffington Post: Cookie Dough Cravings

Huffington Post: The Banished Ones: A Ramadan Reflection

Atlanta Muslim:

Teaching Children the Value of Money

Tis the Season To Be Jolly and Muslim

What My Clients Really Thought of My Hijab 

Photography: Azizah Magazine featuring my photo  which portrays the care with which a child shares a treat.

Race in the American Muslim Community – Azizah Magazine

Layali Webzine ~ page 16 & 17 What Motherhood Taught Me About Photography

Please Contact me for more writing opportunities at or simply comment below!

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