Reem Faruqi is an award winning author who enjoys writing lyrical stories that reflect her own experiences.
Author Contact Info
When Reem Faruqi taught second grade, her favorite time was “Read Aloud” time. Now, her favorite time at home is reading with her daughters. Reem Faruqi is the award-winning author of “Lailah’s Lunchbox,” a picture book based on her own experiences as a young Muslim girl immigrating to the United States. Of Pakistani origin, Reem moved to Peachtree City, Georgia, from Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, when she was 13 years old. She’s also the author of her two middle grade novels in verse, “Unsettled”(HarperCollins 2021), “Golden Girl” (HarperCollins 2022) and picture books “Amira’s Picture Day”(Holiday House 2021), and “I Can Help”(Eerdmans 2021) which all got starred reviews. She has a new younger middle grade novel Anisa’s International Day (HarperCollins 2022) and an upcoming non-fiction picture book based on her grandmother Milloo’s Mind (HarperCollins 2023). Reem seasonally works as a photographer at ReemFaruqi Photography and currently works as a Scheduler for the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. She loves to doodle, write, and take photos at http://www.ReemFaruqi.com. Currently, she lives with her husband and three daughters in Atlanta.
Reem Faruqi is the award-winning children’s book author of Lailah’s Lunchbox, a book based on her own experiences as a young Muslim girl immigrating to the United States. She’s also the author of “Amira’s Picture Day,” “I Can Help,” and two middle grade novels in verse, “Unsettled” and “Golden Girl,” which all got starred reviews. After surviving Atlanta traffic and the school drop off, Reem spends her days trying to write, but instead gets distracted easily by her camera and buttery sunlight. Reem Faruqi lives in Atlanta with her husband and three daughters. You can find her at www.ReemFaruqi.com or on Instagram or Twitter.
photocredit: Mariam Shakeel
Lailah’s Lunchbox (Tilbury House Publishing, 2015)
Awards for 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
Unsettled (HarperCollins 2021)
★ “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.
May/June 2021 Kids’ Indie Next List · Featured in Today Show’s AAPI Heritage Month list · A Kirkus Children’s Best Book of 2021 · A National Council of Teachers of English Notable Verse Novel · Jane Addams 2022 Children’s Book Award Finalist · 2021 Nerdy Award Winner · 2021 Muslim Bookstagram Award Winner
Amira’s Picture Day (Holiday House, 2021)
★ “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
ALA Notable Book 2022, Notable Social Studies Trade Book For Young People 2022, a cooperative Project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council, A 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
★ “An illuminating glimpse into how a young child learns to trust her instinct and be kind to others.” – Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review.
★ “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
★ “This skillfully imagined novel is immediately absorbing. Faruqi’s lilting lines have plenty to savor, but her pages turn quickly, drawing readers easily into Aafiyah’s story. In spare but carefully chosen words, Faruqi builds a complex drama. All of the relationships ring with authenticity and emotion. Golden Girl cements Faruqi’s place as one of the brightest rising stars in children’s literature.” – BookPage, Starred Review
“A story about family, friendship, change, and hope.” —Kirkus
“In Aafiyah, Faruqi creates a relatable but flawed protagonist whose road to redemption makes for an engaging, warmhearted story.” —Booklist
“Much like in her previous novel Unsettled, Faruqi’s elegantly crafted verse illuminates a Muslim family navigating and ultimately transcending domestic challenges. She writes with incisive sensitivity of a common disorder that gets little attention in youth literature.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This story [has] a well-characterized, flawed heroine and a lot of heart.” —Publishers Weekly