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Writer's Room => Kidlit Genres => Topic started by: 1846 on November 01, 2007, 03:28 PM

Title: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: 1846 on November 01, 2007, 03:28 PM
I'm not sure whether to put this topic into the Religious section or the MG section.  Obviously, Religious is what I picked.

Can anyone tell me any titles of either MG or YA novels (preferably MG) which include in any way Islamic characters?

My current MG WIP, onto which I am putting the final finishing touches of the first draft, contains a subplot in which the MC has a close Islamic friend who is being harassed at school because of her religion.  The MC must decide to what extent he is willing to go to help his friend in this situation, and he does take action in a very bold manner.

Offhand I can't think of other YA or MG novels which contain any plotlines relating to Islam.

Given the current political climate, a plot thread which is sympathetic to the Islamic religion will be controversial in at least some circles.  Does anyone think the topic is too hot to handle?  This isn't central to the main plot thread, but it IS central to the nature of the boy I am writing about since he is willing to take what could be an unpopular stand with some of his peers.

BTW, there are Jewish characters in the story as well.
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: graywolf on November 01, 2007, 03:38 PM
Go for it!  It's just the right moment to write a story with Muslim, Jewish, and other characters being involved with each other.   I'm working on two nonfiction projects that involve Islam, and everytime I open the newspaper, I read about issues that somehow relate.  It's exciting as a writer - and great for young readers to learn as much as they can about all cultures and religions.  Maybe this "younger generation" really will be able to make progress.
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: shelly on November 01, 2007, 03:40 PM
Can anyone tell me any titles of either MG or YA novels (preferably MG) which include in any way Islamic characters?


RUNNING ON EGGS by Anna Levine.
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: Lenzi on November 01, 2007, 03:43 PM
IN THE NAME OF GOD by our own Paula Jolin is a YA
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: AllyCowee on November 01, 2007, 03:45 PM
In the Name of God by Paula Jolin
Real Time Pnina Moed Kass
Samir and Yonatan (Carmi)

Also Naomi Shihab Nye has some brilliant works, including one of my all time faves, Habibi
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: Marissa Doyle on November 01, 2007, 03:50 PM
One of Henry Holt's fall releases is a PB called "My First Ramadan", so not everyone is shying away.
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: AooH on November 01, 2007, 03:52 PM
There's Ruksana Khan's Dahling if you Love Me.
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: ninajw on November 01, 2007, 03:59 PM
Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: literaticat on November 01, 2007, 04:06 PM
DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS

HABIBI

THE BREADWINNER

Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: GreenBeans on November 01, 2007, 04:25 PM

Wasn't the sidekick/best friend in An Abundance of Katherines a Muslim? He was a sympathetic character, very real as a complex individual, and funny.

GreenBeans
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: kellyr on November 02, 2007, 01:16 PM
Hassan in An Abundance of Katherines was decidedly Muslim (and I know lots of folks who like him better than the MC!)
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: mamaip on November 06, 2007, 01:31 PM
I think we need more books for kids and teens dealing with Muslim characters who are REAL, meaning no different than anyone else. With all the stereotypes society has given to people of this religion, I applaud anyone who gives some accurate accounts (hubby is from Turkey and Muslim) . Good luck with your project.
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: 1846 on November 07, 2007, 07:15 PM
Thank you for all the book suggestions!  I'll be checking those out.
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: BBOvenGuy on December 19, 2007, 12:20 PM
My upcoming book, Lunar Pioneers, has a Muslim character in it.  The story is set in a colony on the Moon in the 22nd century, and I very deliberately included a Muslim character as a way of saying that Muslims will be going into the future, just like everybody else.

Look for it this spring.   :yippee
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: Laurie on December 19, 2007, 12:44 PM
REFUGEES, a young adult novel by Catherine Stine, features an Afghan teen, and it's a wonderfully nuanced portraitl. The story alternates between two narratives: Dawn --  an American runaway in post 9/11 New York, and Johar, an Afghan boy who escapes from the Taliban to work in a refugee camp.

Laurie
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: petal on December 19, 2007, 01:55 PM
It's not a book, but the CW network has a roughly MG level show, 'Aliens in America', which features a teenage Muslim boy from Pakistan.

To me--a Muslim who grew up in a Catholic-Muslim household--it's funny, balanced, and interesting.

'Does My Head Look Big In This?' is also good, though it appears to have little appeal to non-Muslim MG/YA readers.

'The Glory Garage' (I think that's right) is a collection of stories, sort of YA-Adult crossover.

There are, from time to time, picture books with Muslim characters too, like 'The Librarian of Basra'. I know there are less political ones, too, but I can't think of any titles just now.

At present, I'm planning a story based around a Muslim girl--it's something I missed it out on reading as a child, and would have liked to have.
Title: Re: Islamic Characters in MG or YA
Post by: Laurie on December 19, 2007, 08:55 PM
Thought of another good YA: Anahita's Woven Riddle by Meghan Nutall Sayres.

Laurie