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From William C. Morris Award Finalist S. K. Ali comes an unforgettable romance that is part The Sun is Also a Star, part Anna and the French Kiss, following two teens who meet during a spring break trip.
Suspended from school for standing up to an Islamophobic teacher, Zayneb is headed to Doha to stay with family, resigned to be “nicer” and let the injustices of the world slide off her shoulders from hereon.
Adam is headed to Doha too, struggling with a recent diagnosis, and resigned to keep his illness from friends and family.
Alone, both are playing roles for others. Together, will they learn to live their truths?
Saints and Misfits is 2017’s must-read contemporary novel. S.K. Ali has given us a sharp and relatable heroine in Janna, as well as a fully realized supporting cast of unforgettable characters. Deftly handles several heavy topics including attempted assault.
Allison Senecal, American Booksellers Association
Set in a multicultural Muslim family, this book is long overdue, a delight for readers who will recognize the culture and essential for those unfamiliar with Muslim experiences…readers will be glad to make space in their hearts—and bookshelves—for Janna Yusuf.
Ali’s writing…magnifies the teen’s rich voice in a character-driven novel about identity, highlighting her faith and typical teenage stress. Readers can empathize with Janna’s problems and the pages will turn quickly….timely and authentic portrayal.
Ali’s debut offers a much-needed, important perspective in Janna, whose Muslim faith is pivotal but far from the only part of her multifaceted identity. Thanks to her sharp, wry first-person narrative, readers will gain deep insight into her anxieties, choices, and aspirations… A wide variety of readers will find solidarity with Janna.
Booklist, starred review
…gives readers unfamiliar with Islam a deep understanding of Muslim practices and women who wear the hijab without limiting the scope of the story. Instead, debut novelist Ali taps into universal thoughts and situations, including the feelings of not fitting in, oppressive social stigmas, and the difficulty of truly connecting with and trusting others…a sympathetic and thoughtful study of a girl’s attempt to find her place in a complicated world.
Publishers Weekly review
SAINTS AND MISFITS is a beating heart inside a book…[It] takes us on a powerful journey as we watch our heroine find her place in her community and find herself in the process.
– Aisha Saeed, Author of Written in the Stars
AWARDS & DISTINCTIONS:
A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school–and two sisters on one’s first day of hijab–by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad.
With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.
Paired with Hatem Aly’s beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.
Praise for The Proudest Blue:
“Inspiring… The lovely, playful illustrations by Aly capture the spirit of imagination and sisterly solidarity in the face of bullying.”—New York Times Book Review * “Memorable and inspiring… Triumphant and true.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review * “A lovely blend of emotional lyricism and closely observed everyday life.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review * “Aly’s ink-wash-and-pencil illustrations settle and soar along with the language…. This story, as both window and mirror, inevitably educates, but more important, it encourages pride in and respect for hijab through a tale of two sisters, their bond strengthened by faith.”—Booklist, starred review * “This excellent story about identity, visibility, and confidence, touches on rites of passage, bonds between sisters, and bullying and is unapologetic in tackling misconceptions and demanding equality.”—School Library Journal, starred review “Hatem Aly’s ink-wash and watercolour illustrations perfectly complement the lyricism of Muhammed and Ali’s moving text.”—The Globe and Mail