Title: Amina’s Voice
Author: Hena Khan
Genres: Middle Grade, Contemporary
“Amina’s anxieties are entirely relatable, but it’s her sweet-hearted nature that makes her such a winning protagonist.” —Entertainment Weekly
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.
Middle Grade has always been, and will always be one of my favorite genres. The books are so pure, quite easy to get through, and always make me smile. Amina’s Voice isn’t any different.
I listened to this book as an audiobook, and I finished it in 2 days. It was incredible. I usually don’t tend to love audiobooks, I’m not even sure why, but the narration was perfect and really brought the story to life.
As for the story itself, it was quite amazing. Amina, our main character, has to deal with quite a lot, like her feeling like everything around her is changing and she might lose her best friend, her uncle from Pakistan coming to visit and the upcoming Quran competition that she’s participating in, and that she’s incredibly nervous about. It’s all quite simple, but it’s written in such a lovely and touching way that you can’t help but fall in love with it.
I felt the same about the characters, because I adored every single one of them. Amina is such a compassionate and gentle girl who tends to worry a lot, and I really felt for her. I also loved seeing her interact with her family, and especially her parents, with whom she has a very great relationship. I also really enjoyed seeing her interactions with her brother, because while her brother is really starting to turn into a teenager and tries to be cool, he still has some very soft moments when he’s around his sister.
Something that I also really appreciated about this book is that it really shows the importance of community after a (very relevant in today’s society) tragedy strikes. Seeing how everyone comes together and supports each other made me so happy that I started crying, and I really loved how hopeful the message of the book is.
Amina’s voice is a very important and hopeful book, and I really hope a lot more people are going to pick it up. They sure won’t regret it.