The Garden of My Imaan (Paperback)
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It's hard enough to fit in without also having to decide whether to fast for Ramadan or wear the hijab.
Aliya already struggles with trying to fit in, feeling confident enough to talk to the cute boy or brave enough to stand up to mean kids—the fact that she's Muslim is just another part of her life.
But then Marwa, a Moroccan girl who shares Aliya's faith if not her culture, moves to town. Marwa's quiet confidence leads Aliya to wonder even more about who she is, what she believes, and where she fits in.
In a series of letters to Allah she writes for a Sunday school project, Aliya explores her dreams and fears, hoping that with hard work and faith, something beautiful will grow in the garden of imaan—the small quiet place inside where belief unfolds, one petal at a time.
This award-winning novel from author and educator Farhana Zia captures the social and identity struggles of middle school with a fresh, new voice.
About the Author
Farhana Zia spent her early years in Hyderabad, India, and her stories blend humor and tradition, memories and contemporary moments. A retired elementary school teacher, she is the author of picture books and middle grade novels. She lives in Massachusetts and enjoys reading, writing, and making French macarons.
★ "Zia (Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-Ji) has deep insight into adolescent Muslim life and capably handles diversity within American Islam."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"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
"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