One of my favorite Hena Khan books, Amina’s Voice is one of those books I re-read at least every couple of months, it’s so positive and sweet.
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
Pakistani-American Muslim girl Amina isn’t sure about all the changes middle school is bringing. Amina doesn’t like the spotlight, she’s got stage fright from a past experience on stage and despite wanting to sign up for a school concert she can’t get past it.
It doesn’t matter what her best friend Soojin says about her voice is better than most everyone in the school. Soojin is one of the only ones who know she can sing and Amina wants to keep it that way.
Amina and Soojin have a bond over shared experiences they are used to be the only ones with names no one can pronounce and who have different cultural backgrounds from the students around them.
But with Soojin’s family’s citizenship ceremony coming up. Soojin is talking about changing her name to something more ‘American’ and Amina isn’t sure how to feel about that, she likes Soojin as Soojin. Plus if Soojin is changing, does that mean she should be too?
Plus Soojin starts to let a ‘cool girl’ Emily hang out with them at lunch. Emily and her friend Julie had been mean to Amina and Soojin in the past so Amina isn’t sure why Soojin is now willing to look past those old wrongs.
If all that isn’t enough her uncle is coming to visit from Pakistan, the visit is very important to her father so he wants Amina and her brother to be on their best behavior, and he’s staying for three months! But when her uncle arrives it is clear he doesn’t share some of her parents’ beliefs, especially about music. This makes Amina wonder if her love for music is wrong.
When Amina accidentally reveals one of Emily’s secrets it drives a rift between her and Soojin and Emily that Amina doesn’t know how to fix.
When her local mosque is vandalized it puts everything in perspective, but will Amina be able to solve the rifts in her personal life and use her voice to bring together her community?
This OwnVoices novel is by multiple award-winning author Hena Khan author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns and More to the Story.