Title: Amina’s Voice
Writer: Hena Khan
Amazon: Buy here
Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American. ” Does amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized. Amina’s voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young pakistani-american and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.
Non Review Rant
I have been meaning to read this book for a while. Friday seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.
Plot & Review
The book is about Amina, and her desire to share her vocal talents with the world. It is also about her family, her friends and little things that matter between family members and close friends.
I am a Muslim, a Urdu speaking Muslim. Naturally, I was totally drowned in the book, even if I didn’t agree with the ideology of it, even if certain spellings of Urdu words in Roman looked incorrect to me. I actually cried when the Islamic center was vandalized. The description of the destruction and the emotions that each of the characters go through is written very well.
It was a feel-good story. After the terror attack on the mosque, the other religions and communities help to restore the center and arrange for the Quran competition.
One very small thing that I liked in particular was that Amina did not win the competition, her brother did. That would have been so cliché.
Just want to note here that per my knowledge there should be no applause before and after recitals of Naat, Hamd, and Quran.
Other than that it was a nice portrayal of a middle grader and her views of the religion she followed.
Cover: 4 / 5
Plot: 4 / 5
Writing: 4 / 5
Overall rating: 4/5