cover image Huda F Are You?

Huda F Are You?

Huda Fahmy. Dial, $22.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-593-32431-8

Fahmy (That Can Be Arranged, for adults) centers Huda F., “just your friendly neighborhood Arab-Muslim hijab-wearing American whatever,” in this unconventional fish-out-of-water story. After their parents move Egyptian American Huda and her four sisters to largely Muslim Dearborn, Mich., Huda plans to “hang out with the other hijabis” as a way to make friends. But realizing that “wearing hijab is not a personality trait,” she finds that she doesn’t necessarily fit in with her new school’s communities of hijabi athletes, gamers, and fashionistas. While navigating her habitual people-pleasing (“I fake interest in whatever other people are talking about”) and seeking approval and acceptance, she also encounters hostility and prejudicial treatment from students and a teacher, and wonders whether to openly discuss the discrimination or keep quiet and fade into the background. Simple lined cartoon art against ample white space portrays female Muslim characters with an array of skin tones and wearing a variety of hijab styles. In this entertaining, frequently wry fictionalized memoir about an important subject, Fahmy is forthright in her dialogues and depictions. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kathleen Ortiz, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Nov.)