The Garden Of My ImaanThe Garden of my Imaan
By Farhana Zia
Published by Peachtree Publishers

“People of all religions and other minority groups will appreciate and relate to Aliya’s experiences and hopefully seek to improve themselves.” –Children’s Literature

“…Zia’s gentle message–that Muslims come from many cultures whose observances differ, while the long shadow of 9/11 hovers over all–is timely and beautifully conveyed.” –Kirkus Reviews

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Description

Aliya already struggles with trying to fit in, feeling confident enough to talk to the cute boy or stand up to mean kids the fact that she s Muslim is just another thing to deal with. When Marwa, a Moroccan girl who shares her faith if not her culture, comes to Aliya s school, Aliya wonders even more about who she is, what she believes, and where she fits in. Should she fast for Ramadan? Should she wear the hijab? She s old enough for both, but does she really want to call attention to herself?

Reviews & Accolades
Zia has deep insight into adolescent Muslim life and capably handles diversity within American Islam. She provides one of the better representations of the matriarchy of South Asian families in her depiction of Aliya’s home life—with the strong presence of her mother, grandmother, and even great-grandmother—and seamlessly weaves the Urdu language into her story.” –Publisher’s Weekly

The Garden of My Imaan is a beautifully written book, treating all religions respectfully, and it portrays situations very realistically. People of all religions and other minority groups will appreciate and relate to Aliya’s experiences and hopefully seek to improve themselves.” –Children’s Literature

“As the year progresses, Aliya works at understanding herself and her faith, and with the support of a new Muslim classmate, she comes to appreciate her many blessings and her identity. The author recognizes the diversity of the Muslim population (Aliya’s family is from India, while the new girl is from Morocco)…The novel is at its best when depicting Aliya’s interactions with her grandmother and great-grandmother as well as comic incidents such as a halal turkey mix-up at Thanksgiving dinner. This would be a good addition for libraries serving Muslim populations; it also might be of interest to non-Muslim readers wanting to find out more about the religion’s everyday life and practices.” –School Library Journal

“…this likable tale of an Indian-American girl who fears drawing attention from those hostile toward Muslims focuses on the social consequences of religious identity, rather than faith itself…Zia’s gentle message–that Muslims come from many cultures whose observances differ, while the long shadow of 9/11 hovers over all–is timely and beautifully conveyed.” –Kirkus Reviews

Groups Represented
Muslim American
Indian American
Morrocan American
Korean American

Themes
Cultural identity, cultural traditions, religious beliefs, multicultural friendship, celebration, family relationships

Setting
Suburban US

Author Research
TBA

Engagement Projects
READ an interview with the author about writing her book on the Paper Tiger blog

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