Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book review - Amina's Voice

Title: Amina's Voice
Author: Hena Khan
Genre: realistic fiction
Similar books: A Long Pitch Home by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
                      Hundred Precent by Karen Romano Young
plenty of content but  brief

Summary (provided by publisher): A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.
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.

My opinion: Amina's Voice takes on some pretty big topics in a fairly short novel. That's admirable but it tends to feel oversimplified. Nothing is explored in any real depth. Changing friendships, stage fright, increasing responsibility, culture clash, and hate crimes all just get a surface exploration. All of these topics are deftly handled with realistic, likeable characters. There was simply a lot of missed opportunity to dig deeper, to explore motivations and repercussions. A decent read to introduce topics.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley

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