June Book Bunch

Thursday, June 22nd at 4:30 p.m.

Click here to register for our Book Bunch

Join Caroline and Donna for a book discussion and trivia game for 4th through 8th graders! We will be reading Yusuf Azeem is Not A Hero by Saadia Faruqi.

Yusuf Azeem just entered Middle School and is excited to join the Robotics team. This year Yusuf realizes that it is the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 which has everyone on edge. Tension rises when Yusuf begins to find hateful notes in his locker and becomes a target for a bully who tells Yusuf that the terrorist attacks are his fault. Luckily, Yusuf has his uncle’s journal to help him understand the nationwide fear and anger around the twin tower attacks. Can Yusuf Azeem stand up to his bullies and become a hero? This is a wonderful book that explores racism and a boy who finds his voice.

The Trove will provide a free copy of the book for the first eight individuals to register for the discussion. When the books are available, we will email to arrange pickup; please list an email address and phone number when registering. You can place a hold on the book using our catalog. If you prefer the ebook you can find it on Libby here.

Recommended Reads:

Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui
For Grades 4-8
Library Collection: book
Libby: eBook
“Twelve-year-old Nimra Sharif is attending public school for the first time. Pakistani American Nimra was home-schooled until she was 8, then attended a private Islamic school where she memorized the Quran, becoming a hafiza. Now her parents have decided that it is time for her to attend public school, where she’ll be with her childhood best friend, Jenna, a White girl. But once seventh grade starts, Jenna ignores and avoids Nimra. Fortunately, Nimra meets other Muslim students: Matthew, a White convert; Bilal and Khadijah, Somali American siblings; and Pakistani American Waleed. When Bilal, Matthew, and Waleed ask her to join Barakah Beats, their Muslim band, she hesitates because of her family’s interpretation of Islamic teachings, which eschews taking part in instrumental music. But she gives in, believing that hanging out with three popular, attractive eighth grade boys will impress Jenna. Her plan to join the band just long enough to regain Jenna’s friendship before dropping out leads to her lying to her parents—and a sticky friendship situation when the boys sign up to perform at a mosque talent show to raise money for refugees. While secondary characters are less well fleshed out, Nimra grows, takes responsibility for her actions, and thoughtfully engages with her faith. Siddiqui has written a sympathetic character who wants to stay true to her beliefs while facing the pressures of school, changing relationships, and diverse beliefs about music within Muslim communities. An important story about staying true to yourself.” –Kirkus Reviews

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
For Grades 4-8
Library Collection: book
Libby: eBook
“A Pakistani-American girl starting middle school learns how to cope with the changes and challenges she faces at home, at school, and within her close-knit Muslim community. True to her parents’ endearment for her, geeta (‘song’ in Urdu), Amina loves to sing. But unlike the contestants on her favorite reality TV show The Voice, Amina shuns the spotlight—she’s a bundle of nerves in front of an audience! She’s happy living her life as usual, hanging out with her best friend, Korean-American Soojin, playing the piano, and attending Sunday school at the Islamic Center. Except that life isn’t ‘as usual’ anymore. In fact, everything is changing, and changing fast. Soojin wants an ‘American’ name to go with her new citizenship status, and even worse, Soojin starts getting chummy with their elementary school nemesis, a white girl named Emily, leaving a jealous Amina fuming. Then, her visiting uncle voices his disapproval of her piano-playing, saying it’s forbidden in Islam. Finally, when the Islamic Center is vandalized, Amina feels like the whole world as she knows it is crumbling around her. With the help and support of the larger community, the Islamic Center is slowly rebuilt, and Amina comes to terms with her identity and culture, finding strength in her own voice. Khan deftly—and subtly—weaves aspects of Pakistani and Muslim culture into her story, allowing readers to unconsciously absorb details and develop understanding and compassion for another culture and faith. Amina’s middle school woes and the universal themes running through the book transcend culture, race, and religion.”  –Kirkus Reviews
Categories: Library News.

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