Published by Peachtree Publishers on March 1, 2016
Genres: MG Contemporary
Source: YA Books Central
Aliya already struggles with trying to fit in, feeling confident enough to talk to the cute boy or stand up to mean kids — the fact that shes Muslim is just another thing to deal with. When Marwa, a Moroccan girl who shares her faith if not her culture, comes to Aliya's school, Aliya wonders even more about who she is, what she believes, and where she fits in. Should she fast for Ramadan? Should she wear the hijab? She's old enough for both, but does she really want to call attention to herself?
Diversity: 3 – Closer to Reality
Racial-Ethnic: 4 (Aliya and her family are Indian Muslims; her best friend Winnie is Korean; Marwa’s family is Moroccan)
Intersectionality: 4 (the book’s focus on Muslim girlhood creates plenty of intersections between gender and racial-ethnic identity)
One review of The Garden of My Imaan calls the book a modern homage to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, that classic book parents gave to their kids when puberty threatened to rear its ugly head and begin the monthly misery of menstruation. I never got to read that one because I was an ace at odd things like not getting to read things that were “normal” for kids my age to read. That continued all the way into high school. ANYWAY. The Garden of My Imaan is far from perfect, but it has a lot of value for its audience even if it’s a bit didactic. Read more »