#MuslimShelfSpace is a hashtag on Twitter started by Sajidah K Ali and other Muslim authors to showcase books written by Muslim authors.

Why? The future is uncertain and representation is always a relevant issue. Specially when you consider how much, to borrow Karuna Riazi’s words, Muslims have been Othered and vilified by not just the media but other certain orange people we won’t mention in the past year.

This is my (spare/pitiful/sad) collection of Muslim authored books. I must do better in 2017!

Pitiful, right? Here are the ones (that I know of) coming out in 2017.

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
Marth 14th, 2017/Salaam Reads

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.

That Thing We Call A Heart by Sheba Karim
May 9th/Harper Teen

Shabnam Qureshi is a funny, imaginative Pakistani-American teen attending a tony private school in suburban New Jersey. When her feisty best friend, Farah, starts wearing the headscarf without even consulting her, it begins to unravel their friendship. After hooking up with the most racist boy in school and telling a huge lie about a tragedy that happened to her family during the Partition of India in 1947, Shabnam is ready for high school to end. She faces a summer of boredom and regret, but she has a plan: Get through the summer. Get to college. Don’t look back. Begin anew.

Everything changes when she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt’s pie shack, and meets her there every afternoon. Shabnam begins to see Jamie and herself like the rose and the nightingale of classic Urdu poetry, which, according to her father, is the ultimate language of desire. Jamie finds Shabnam fascinating—her curls, her culture, her awkwardness. Shabnam finds herself falling in love, but Farah finds Jamie worrying.

With Farah’s help, Shabnam uncovers the truth about Jamie, about herself, and what really happened during Partition. As she rebuilds her friendship with Farah and grows closer to her parents, Shabnam learns powerful lessons about the importance of love, in all of its forms.

Daevabad: The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
November/Harper Voyager

When Nahri, a young con artist in eighteenth century Cairo, accidentally summons a powerful djinn warrior to her side, she finds herself drawn into the political machinations of the royal court of Daevabad, the ancient, magical city of brass. Descendant of a powerful family thought to be destroyed, blessed with the gift of healing, Nahri soon realizes her very presence threatens to reignite a centuries-old religious war between the feuding djinn tribes. Hoping to keep her head, she forms an alliance with a fiery prince who dreams of revolutionizing his father’s corrupt reign. But she soon learns that working with the enemy—even to make peace—can have deadly consequences.

Saints and Misfits – S. K. Ali
June 13th/Salaam Reads

There are three kinds of people in my life:
1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose.
2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me— the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand new family or in the leftover one comprised of Mom and my older brother, Mama-Boy-Muhammad.
Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, “Janna and Jeremy” sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds.
But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right?
3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories.
Like the monster at my mosque.
People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody’s seen under the mask.
Except me.

The Gauntlet – Karuna Riazi
March 28th/Salaam Reads

A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair.

When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand—a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube—they know it’s up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how.

Under the tutelage of a lizard guide named Henrietta Peel and an aeronaut Vijay, the Farah and her friends battle camel spiders, red scorpions, grease monkeys, and sand cats as they prepare to face off with the maniacal Lord Amari, the man behind the machine. Can they defeat Amari at his own game…or will they, like the children who came before them, become cogs in the machine?

10 Translated Works You Should Check Out

10 Translated Works You Should Check Out

1. I Need You More Than I Love You and I Love You To Bits by Gunnar Ardelius, Tara Chace (Translator) Hardcover, 118 pages Published November 1st 2008 by Front Street When Morris meets Betty, love is unavoidable. In short prose passages, we follow the course of their passionate first love. A confident debut written […]

Notes from the Wild: Vol. 14

Notes from the Wild: Vol. 14

  Five Finds is a sporadic feature on my blog in which I share five books that match a given theme/subject/topic. Topics so far have included Fiction for Budding Cupcake Moguls, Picture Book About Birds and Wordless Picture Books. The themes/topics for my Five Finds posts are inspired by actual interactions I’ve had with patrons […]

The Best of 2015: YA Fiction/Nonfiction

The Best of 2015: YA Fiction/Nonfiction

Janet (the links may contain spoilers) Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson (Shades of London #3) The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison Uprooted by Naomi Novik Under My Skin by Charles de Lint (Wildlings #1) Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (sequel to Seraphina) The Darkest Part of the Forest […]

The Best of 2015: Illustrated/Graphic Novels

The Best of 2015: Illustrated/Graphic Novels

Janet Avatar: The Last Airbender: okay, so all the ATLA comics – The Promise, The Search, The Rift, and Smoke and Shadow, Part One, which is all of the newest trilogy that I have managed to get my hands on yet. My favourites are The Search and Smoke and Shadow, so far, but it’s awfully hard to choose between such wonderful, […]

More Monster Girls 2K16

More Monster Girls 2K16

I suppose the term “Monster Girls” covers quite a few characters who are already present in the YA Fantasy genre–Lady Fire, Skybright, and Kira off the top of my head– but in this post, I want to talk about the ones that blur the lines between heroism and villainy, girls who (for better or for worse) allow the […]