cover image Once upon an Eid

Once upon an Eid

Edited by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed. Amulet, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4083-1

This effervescent anthology, edited by Ali (Love from A to Z) and Saeed (Amal Unbound), binds together 15 short stories in a variety of formats that explore the festival of Eid. While the annual Muslim celebration is a major component, the authors also interweave deeper explorations of the Islamic faith into their tales, which combine insights on Muslim culture with a message on the importance of such traits as generosity and resilience. Asmaa Hussein’s “Kareem Means ‘Generous,’ ” for example, features Kareem’s discovery of the pleasure he gains from sharing his good fortune. Candice Montgomery contributes a moving narrative about 11-year-old Leila’s first experience wearing a hijab, conveying both the girl’s excitement and her mother’s anxiety over potential backlash. Leila’s closeness with family and positive interactions with classmates further exemplify fulfilling interpersonal relationships that appear throughout the book. No two stories are alike: the inclusion of a narrative in poem (“Taste,” by Hanna Alkaf) and a short graphic novel (G. Willow Wilson’s “Seraj Captures the Moon”) ensures various reading formats. Moreover, a range of diverse, multidimensional characters—among them Shia Muslim, converted Muslim, Algerian, Caribbean, and West African representation—results in a stimulating, celebratory read. Ages 8–12. [em]Agents: John Cusick, Folio Literary Management (for Ali), and Taylor Martindale, Full Circle Literary (for Saeed). (May) [/em]