A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2017
“For inspiring empathy in young readers, you can’t get better than this book.” —R. J. Palacio, author of #1 New York Timesbestseller Wonder
“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 “compassionate, timely novel” (Booklist, starred review) 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.
For musically gifted Amina Khokar, sixth grade heralds a multitude of changes. Her best friend Soojin is about to be granted citizenship and plans to leave her Korean name behind, plus Soojin has befriended another classmate, Emily, whom Amina distrusts. Meanwhile, Amina's family is hosting her strict Muslim great-uncle, who is visiting Wisconsin from Pakistan, and stage-fright-prone Amina prepares to publically read a passage from the Quran in Arabic. The vandalism of the local Islamic Center and mosque further heightens the turmoil in this timely coming-of-age story. Through Amina's emotional, honest responses betrayed confusion over Soojin wanting an American name, her worry about her uncle's comments that her passion for music is un-Islamic, her dejected disbelief in response to the Islamophobic vandalism Khan (Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns) gracefully addresses the difficulty of reconciling individual beliefs with those of others, especially those you love, as well as the complications that accompany the merging of cultures. Watching Amina literally and figuratively find her voice bolstered by community, friendship, and discovered inner strength makes for rewarding reading. Ages 8 12.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A heartwarming story with an underwhelming finish
Aminas voice is a heartwarming and inspiring tale that follows Amina a Pakistani American girl. Amina has always been friends with Korean-American Soojin relating due to their hard-to-pronounce names. However, a former classmate named Emily who had made racist remarks in the past starts hanging out with Soojin, Amina has mixed feelings of confusion. At her home life, her Grand Uncle is coming causing her family stress to prepare and a upcoming Quaran competition in her mosque. However, a act of vandalization and hate crime towards her local mosque occurs causing devastation for Amina.
I loved the Pakistani and Muslim representation is this book. Amina is a Pakistani kid and struggles between “feeling too Pakistani” “or feeling to American” which many immigrant kids can feel sometimes. Amina is also a Muslim. Throughout the book, she questions if she is following Muslim standards and rules and I loved her involvement with the Muslim community of her mosque. Even though she is a Muslim, the book shows that she is still a normal kids regardless of religion.
I will critique the ending of the book that felt too underwhelming and the problems Amina faced in the book were reseolved too quickly. Keep in mind, I am a teen reading this book and this book would be a great to shows school-age kids empathy and compassion towards anyone of race and religion.