cover image Amina’s Song (Amina’s Voice #2)

Amina’s Song (Amina’s Voice #2)

Hena Khan. Salaam Reads, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5344-5988-5

In this sequel to Amina’s Voice, Khan returns to the world of Pakistani American teenager Amina Khokar, whose monthlong trip to Lahore is coming to an end as the book opens. Upon her return to Wisconsin, Amina begins seventh grade smoothly, without the friendship conflicts that plagued her the previous year. To her disappointment, however, her classmates appear uninterested in hearing more about her trip and the people and vibrant places she’s come to love, even while feeling excluded from aspects of Pakistani culture. Her decision to dress up as Malala Yousafzai for a school project provokes negative commentary on Pakistan, even though “girls suffer from injustice everywhere in the world.” Meanwhile, the presence of Nico, a new French Egyptian classmate, sees Amina navigating the viability of platonic male-female friendships, as he partners with Amina to complete a songwriting project. With his help, she aims to showcase her love of Pakistan and challenge her American classmates’ assumptions. Though the prose style can feel somewhat simplistic at times, Amina remains engag- ing throughout, with her close familial relationships and self-proclaimed “identity crisis” as part of both cultures enabling frank discussions, and well-rounded supporting characters lending layers to the narrative. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Matthew Elblonk, DeFiore & Co. (Mar.) [/em]