“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 to? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
Amina’s Voice is a fantastic, diverse YA book. Amina Khokar is Pakistani-American and the daughter of immigrants. She is a very relatable eleven-year-old, struggling with the transition to middle school and navigating changing friendships. She works hard to pronounce Arabic words right when memorizing passages of the Qu’ran for Sunday school, and she is a gifted singer, even though she doesn’t feel comfortable singing in public just quite yet.
There is a clear appreciation of Muslim culture throughout this book, from Amina’s visiting uncle who comes to stay and only speaks Urdu, to the foods and parties the Khokar’s host for friends and family, and the Sunday school classes where their community gathers for weekly study and prayer.
With themes of friendship, acceptance, tolerance, this was an uplifting story and a great book for young adults/teens and adults.