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GOLDEN GIRL by Reem Faruqi


by Reem Faruqi

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-06-304475-3
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Thirteen-year-old Pakistani American Aafiyah Qamar has a lot going on in her life.

Aaifiyah lives with her family—Abba, who repairs airplanes; Mom; and younger brother Ibrahim—in Atlanta. She enjoys reading National Geographic fact books, playing tennis, spending time with Zaina, her best friend whose body is maturing more quickly than hers, and visiting her grandparents in Karachi. But Dada Abu, her paternal grandfather, has cancer, and Aafiyah is struggling with another problem: She sometimes takes—and keeps—things without asking. When Abba is accused of a crime and detained at the airport in Dubai, everything starts to fall apart. Dada Abu travels back to Atlanta with Aafiyah, Mom, and Ibrahim for medical treatment. Meanwhile Dadi, her paternal grandmother, stays behind with Abba, surrendering her passport for his bail. Aafiyah has never before had to worry about money; when she sees that they are struggling to pay for Dada Abu’s treatment and her father’s lawyers, she hatches a plan to help—but it involves taking something that is not hers. Aafiyah ultimately must face the consequences of her actions. Faruqi seamlessly weaves in elements of Aafiyah’s Islamic identity while capturing telling details about Aafiyah, her family, and other characters. The verse format and ample white space will work well for struggling readers who are intimidated by dense paragraphs of text.

A story about family, friendship, change, and hope.

(author’s note, resources, recipe, glossary) (Verse novel. 9-13)