I didn’t even realise it was WBD until my little brother told me on our way home from school today. It just reminds me of how long ago it was since Year Six because when I entered secondary school, they don’t celebrate it as much as they did in primary schools.
For those who don’t know about World Book Day, it’s a UK’s own version of World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days) On World Book Day, every child in full-time education in the UK is given a voucher to be spent on books. You can either get £1 off any book (I think) or you can get one of the WBD books which were made especially for today. I wasn’t a huge fan of last years’ books but judging from this year, I think I’ll definitely be getting these ones…
Spot the Difference by Juno Dawson
An emotional and thought-provoking story about a bullied child who turns into a bully, then doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror.
Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space by Cavan Scott (Egmont)
Your parents have been captured by the evil Galactic Empire, so what do you do? If you’re Milo and Lina Graf you head into space and declare war on the Dark Side.
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell (Macmillan Children’s)
Elena is a die-hard Star Wars fan but when she goes to her local cinema to see the new film expecting to find like-minded aficionados of Han, Luke and Leia, she finds something quite different…
Okay this is going to be a messy post because it’s like eleven o’clock at night but in case you don’t know Simon & Schuster have announced a new imprint which is solely focused on books that feature Muslim characters and I can’t describe the excitement I’m feeling right now. Simon & Schuster Children’s will launch Salaam Reads in 2017. Executive editor Zareen Jaffery and publisher Justin Chanda will be the driving force behind it.
Jaffery told the NYT she had “long been bothered” by the lack of Muslim characters in children’s literature, a problem that grew more important about three years ago while reading books with her young nieces and nephews. “It was hard not to notice that none of those books really reflected their experience,” she told the paper. Zaffery added in the official announcement: “There is an incredible range of cultural and religious traditions among Muslims in the United States and across the globe, illustrating that there is no one way to be Muslim,” said Jaffery. “Our aim with the Salaam Reads imprint is in part to provide fun and compelling books for Muslim children, but we also intend for these books to be entertaining and enriching for a larger non-Muslim audience.”
I’ve been an avid reader since I could ever remember. I’m almost eighteen, and whenever I’m reading books in front of my family, one question always seems to come up.
Have you read any books with Muslims in them?
At first, I was always caught off-guard. I sit and think, and then realised, I could barely name even 3 books. If you asked me to name books with white protagonists, I could go on and on. I’ve always known throughout my childhood that there was always an empty space when it came to finding muslims on the bookshelves. Although, head canons are a gift (rip to that one HP fanfic I found that was an AU with a muslim Hermione) but sometimes it’s hard, having to force yourself into a book when it’s much easier knowing you’re in the book. In novels, especially Young Adult, muslims are barely there. At all. And I know other Muslim readers like me feel the same. So to see a huge company like S&S do this is so great. Thank you so much to Jaffery and Chanda because now I can’t wait until 2016 is over because I need these books now!!
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