Spotlighting Muslim Authors in Teen Fiction

  • Ten Things I Hate About Me

    2009 by Abdel-Fattah, Randa

    In this highly relatable novel, Australian-Muslim-Lebanese teen Jamilah, or "Jaime," wonders who she really is as she straddles two cultural realities. She goes on a journey of self reflection and discovery as she learns to embrace her truth. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • Perfectly Parvin

    2021 by Abtahi, Olivia

    I was completely charmed by this girl-centered YA rom-com that has the expected breezy romance tropes but also deals with deeper concerns such as navigating one’s cultural identity, Islamophobia, and immigration bans. Parvin is witty and relatable, and I am so eager for the next in the series. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • How It All Blew Up

    2020 by Ahmadi, Arvin

    This is a wonderful and intimate story of self discovery. Amir's yearning to be his authentic self and owning his truth while respecting his conservative family is nuanced and moving. This book also addresses Islamophobia and racism while trying to make sense of sexuality in a culture where it is not discussed openly. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • Love From A to Z

    2019 by Ali, S. K.

    This sweet, halal romance follows Adam and Zayneb, who meet in Qatar during spring break and fall in love. It’s a beautiful story that unabashedly addresses and celebrates Muslim identity. Recommended by Leslie and Rummanah.

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  • Yasmeen

    2021 by Ahmed, Saif A.

    A powerful and at times heartbreaking graphic novel about a young girl, Yasmeen, as she comes of age living between the United States and Iraq. It sensitively explores many hard hitting topics such as the devastating impacts of war, human trafficking, post-traumatic syndrome and the plight of refugee families. Despite these hard topics, Yasmeen remains courageous and resilient in the face of suffering. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • The Weight of Our Sky

    2019 by Hanna Alkaf

    An intense historical fiction novel set during the May 1969 race riots in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia that tackles racism, mental illness, and riot violence. I really like that Melati is not stunted by her mental illness, but she is resilient and is more open to talk about it. There is hope that she can find medication and help. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • Mirage

    2018 by Daud, Somaiya

    A slow burn fantasy set in a Moroccan-inspired world that covertly addresses important issues such as colonialism, appropriation, suppression, and erasure. I was excited to learn about the Indigenous Amazigh of Northwest Africa, including the warrior queen Dihya, who serves as a symbol of feminism and anti-colonialism. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • Punching the Air

    2020 by Zoboi, Ibi Aanu

    Beautifully written, heartbreaking, and raw, Punching the Air is the story of Amal Shahid, who is wrongfully convicted of a crime and incarcerated. Yusef Salaam, one of the Exonerated Five and a prison reform activist, collaborates with author Ibi Zoboi to tell this tale inspired by Salaam's own story of injustice. Like Amal, Salaam has mentioned that his Muslim faith has helped him get through this dark time period in his life. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • Huda F Are You?

    2021 by Fahmy, Huda

    With possibly the greatest title ever, this hilarious, heartfelt graphic novel explores identity, self-awareness, and all of the complexities of wanting to belong in a way that is universal for readers of all backgrounds. An absolute delight. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • We Hunt the Flame

    2019 by Faizal, Hafsah

    A lyrical fantasy duology that is filled with adventure, a slow-burn romance, and an unforgettable cast of characters in a world based on ancient Arabia. A great read for fans of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating

    2021 by Jaigirdar, Adiba

    A delightful and authentic YA queer romance that has fun with familiar tropes, but also deftly tackles themes such as homophobia, racism, microaggressions, identity, and complicated family relationships. Hani and Ishu, the only two Bengali students in their year, are not exactly friends, but end up hatching a mutually beneficial plan that puts them firmly into the fake dating realm. This swoonworthy, intelligent coming-of-age story hits the mark. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Thorn

    2020 by Khanani, Intisar

    A Middle-Eastern-inspired fantasy retelling of a Grimm fairy tale, "The Goose Girl". This captivating and enchanting story is written with all the danger, social commentary, and innovative complexity you look for in a modern retelling. Recommended by Leslie.

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  • A Very Large Expanse of Sea

    2018 by Mafi, Tahereh

    In this compelling and compulsive read, Mafi does an excellent job showcasing the Islamophobic hate Muslim teens have received and still receive post 9/11. While not every Muslim reader who picks up this book will agree with Shirin's decisions and/or actions, it will serve as a mirror for many of them and, for non-Muslim readers, will provide a very much needed window. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • Ms. Marvel

    2014 by Wilson, G. Willow

    Marvel's first Pakistani Muslim superheroine! This graphic novel series is a pure delight to read and it made my heart burst to finally see myself on the page. Read it before the TV series premieres! Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • An Ember in the Ashes

    2015 by Tahir, Sabaa

    This intense, action-packed, diverse fantasy series is a must read! Tahir seamlessly weaves Roman inspired political regime with Islamic folklore and Islamic names of places within the Empire. Recommended by Rummanah.

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