By: Hena Khan
This coming of age novel centers around Amina, a Pakistani-American girl, starting middle school and coping with challenges involving friends, family and her community. Amina loves singing, but unlike the contestants on her favorite TV show, she is terrified of singing in front of others. Her best friend, Soojin, has become friends with Emily, a girl that used to bully her and Amina in elementary school. Amina’s home life isn’t much better. When her uncle arrives from Pakistan for a visit, he disapproves of her singing and notices that she and her brother don’t speak in Urdu at home. To make matters even worse, the local Islamic Center and mosque that her family attends, is vandalized. The story, told in first person, contains universal themes that all teens can relate to regardless of culture, race, or religion.