YA Novels with Muslim Characters

Please note: I’m speaking from the view of mainstream publishers, as there have been Islamic companies who have attempted to provide representation.

I’ve been an avid reader and lover of Young Adult novels ever since I could ever remember. I still remember my 12-year-old self borrowing the Darren Shan vampire series one by one from my school library because my parents wouldn’t buy me the entire series. I remember the day my cousin bought me all the The Hunger Games novels, and finishing them all in the space of a couple of days. I’ve been watching the increasing attention placed on diversity in literature for YA in recent year and I love that it’s happening.

In YA novels, there are few Muslim characters. I started making this list for my cousin who wanted to read more YA novels with Muslim characters in them. So that’s why I decided to post the list here. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it gives an indication of the novels that exist with Muslim characters in the YA publishing sphere. I’ll be continuously updating it. Please drop a comment below if I’ve missed one out!

Any books labelled with *** means it features a muslim character within the novel but not as the main protagonist.

A

B

D

I

K

L

M

P

R

S

T

W

Y

In Islam, our faith rests on diversity and universal bonding through similarities. By advocating and encouraging voices to share their stories we can put them on the shelves. To future Muslim authors, I know you’re there, within the writing community, and I’m rooting for you. And with the recent news of Salaam Reads, I eagerly look forward for a broader spectrum of Muslim stories.

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17 thoughts on “YA Novels with Muslim Characters

  1. This is wonderful!! I’m so glad I came across someone who is wanting a similar trend to come up! The question is WHERE ARE WE innit??

    If you are interested you can join a whole group of us on twitter promoting and spreading the word of diversity in reading. This includes calling out for Muslim writers and readers to speak out as well! 🙂 Use the #DiverseBookBloggers tag on Twitter to find more of us and book recommendations. I’ll tag you if you want to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! As a Muslim writer (not yet author) I acknowledge the need for more YA Muslim characters. I look forward to reading these books! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hah. XD My parents are exactly the same with books probably because I am also a Muslim.
    (Love your hijab btw- I can never do it like that)

    Just as a point, I really hate it when authors just include diverse characters only for education or just for the sake of earning diversity points.

    This is a review of the first book I read with a (half) Muslim protaganist and the first book I strongly hated. It is also the second book ever that I reviewed (so excuse the terrible formatting and writing).

    http://reviewingdreamer.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/youre-not-proper.html

    Hope to hear from you again

    a.s.damea @ ReviewingDreamer/a>

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Check out Forgotten Suns by Judith Tarr and see if it qualifies. It’s a sci-fi epic, set way in the future, where one of the main characters is a 16 year old girl. Most of the characters are people of colour and Not A Big Deal is made of this. Occasionally get reminded that the girl is of some kind of African descent, and generally goes around with her head and face covered (“niquab” is not used). The implication is that she’s Muslim, but again Not A Big Deal is made.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah, I’m not a huge follower of YA, so that’s why I wasn’t sure. The only other book I’ve read from Tarr – Living in Threes – is classed as YA, so she seems to have some track record in stories where at least some of the characters are around the 16 yo mark.

        Like

  5. Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson is an exceptionally brilliant novel that focuses primarily on the plight of Muslim youth, introduces some creatures of the natural realm, and gives a spin on the Arab Spring. I recommend it!

    Like

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