Review: Amina’s Song

Title: Amina’s Song (Amina’s Voice #2)
Author: Hena Khan
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Source: Publisher
Format: paperback arc
Release Date: March 9, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In the companion novel to the beloved and award-winning Amina’s Voice, Amina once again uses her voice to bridge the places, people, and communities she loves—this time across continents. 

It’s the last few days of her vacation in Pakistan, and Amina has loved every minute of it. The food, the shops, the time she’s spent with her family—all of it holds a special place in Amina’s heart. Now that the school year is starting again, she’s sad to leave, but also excited to share the wonders of Pakistan with her friends back in Greendale. 

After she’s home, though, her friends don’t seem overly interested in her trip. And when she decides to do a presentation on Pakistani hero Malala Yousafzai, her classmates focus on the worst parts of the story. How can Amina share the beauty of Pakistan when no one wants to listen?

Review:

Amina is on vacation in Pakistan to visit her extended family. She loves everything on the trip, including the food, the shopping, and spending time with family members. During the trip, Amina takes lots of photos and videos to save her favourite memories. Amina had to return to the US when the summer was over, but her uncle makes her promise that she will share her memories of Pakistan with her friends. Her teacher assigns a project to research a person who has made a significant contribution to history. Amina chooses Malala Yousafzai, to show her students an important person from Pakistan. However, her classmates only remembered the negative parts of her story, like that girls in her village couldn’t get an education, leading her classmates to believe Pakistan is a bad place. Amina had to show her friends and classmates that her family is from a wonderful country.

This story gives an informative look at Pakistan. I’ve never been there, but it sounded like a beautiful place in the story. Amina was surprised when her cousin told her that she would be too scared to visit America. The stories her family hears are only negative ones, since those are shared more in the news. At the same time, Amina was scared to go to Pakistan at first, because she had only heard stories like Malala’s story of being attacked by terrorists, so that was her image of the country. This shows that you can’t always believe the stories that you hear about a place without visiting for yourself. This reminded me of how Toronto, where I live, used to be known around the world for the SARS virus. Only a small number of people had the virus, but the news story about it being in Toronto made it around the world, giving us that reputation for years. Just because a country or city is known for one thing, doesn’t mean the entire place is like that.

This book is a companion to the book Amina’s Voice. The events of that book are mentioned in this story, but you could read this one as a stand-alone.

This was such a beautiful middle grade novel!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

More to the Story by Hena Khan

Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed (editors)

Other books in the series:

Have you read Amina’s Song? What did you think of it?

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