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Amina's Voice

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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  4,758 ratings  ·  924 reviews
Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hid ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Salaam Reads / Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,758 ratings  ·  924 reviews


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Hannah Greendale
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Amina is a Pakistani-American Muslim girl who longs to find the courage to share her vocal talent with others and who struggles to remain loyal to her family’s culture and customs.

Though the opening pages identify Amina’s interest in overcoming her fear of singing in front of others, her driving want fades into the background as she tackles problems concerning her best friend, Soojin. Shortly thereafter, the prospect of a visiting uncle complicates her life further, followed by parental expecta
...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Books like Amina's Voice are the reason why I started reading diverse middle-grade books. There is something so delightful and special about these books that capture the innocence, optimism, and wonder of children and their stories.

It follows young Amina Khokar, a Pakistani-American girl who lives with her parents and older brother in Milkauwee. Having just started middle school, Amina begins to feel that the things around her are changing, leaving her feeling a little lost and unsure of everyth
...more
Fuzaila
If middle-grade fiction is your thing, don’t forget to check this book out. It is diverse - has a Muslim protagonist - and it is also one of those few books that doesn’t feature a romance and actually pulls it off.

Amina is a Pakistani-American, who lives in Milwaukee with her parents and her brother. She is a talented singer, but never got on stage after a disastrous stage-fright incident in her second grade. Her best friend Soojin’s new attitude, and a new friendly addition to their cafeteria
...more
Laura (bbliophile)
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Middle Grade has always been, and will always be one of my favorite genres. The books are so pure, quite easy to get through, and always make me smile. Amina’s Voice isn’t any different.

I listened to this book as an audiobook, and I finished it in 2 days. It was incredible. I usually don’t tend to love audiobooks, I’m not even sure why, but the narration was perfect and really brought the story to life.

As for the story itself, it was quite amazing. Amina, our main character, has to deal with qui
...more
Fafa's Book Corner
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Mini review:

DNF

GR Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge: Diversify Yourself.

This book was recommended to me by my dear GR friend Fuzaila! Click on her name to read her review.

I did actually hear about this book last year. For some reason I had no idea what it was about. I think it just got buried in the hype of other releases. After reading Fuzalia's review I knew I had to try it! I was happy to see that my library had a copy. Unfortunately it wasn't for me.

The first few pages were really good! I
...more
Kaye
Sweet, warm and reassuring - the right sort of story to start off 2017 with. There were several little moments that made me feel like I was reading about my own childhood, from Amina's sweet little prayer to be able to pronounce the "big haa" in Qu'ran classes properly (the struggle is real) to the huge suitcase of gifts from cousins Amina hasn't seen in person for years that her uncle lugs over to the United States. The discussion of Islamophobia is heartfelt and well done and echoes, almost pa ...more
Merphy Napier
Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Amina is an excellent MC with a very relevant problem. I enjoyed reading about her family and their culture, as well as seeing a glimpse into her best friend's family and culture as well. I think it's an important story that's great for the age group it's intended for.

I do feel that the last quarter of the book was far too rushed. The description of the book talks about her local Mosque being burned down but that didn't happen until the very end of the book, and as soon as it did, the book was o
...more
TL
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it
*This may qualify as Unpopular opinion*

A sweet and heartfelt story with a great cast of diverse characters. I'm spiritual but not religious so the parts with the church felt a bit alien to me *shrugs* I did love the sense of community though and how everyone supported each other, coming together when it mattered.

The food mentioned was interesting, and some of it I would to try (not much of a cook though haha) if I got the chance to.

The story moves quickly and is easy to get into, but the plot at
...more
Danielle
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
"I wanted to say, 'But I do want to sing. More than anything.' But I didn't."
(p.109)

"After the first few measures, I forget everything for a moment and feel whole again, in spite of what happened earlier in the day. I play as if no one is listening, basking in the richness of sound."
(p. 170)

Amina has a wonderful singing voice, but she is a bit too shy to share it. That is, until she finds that she does want to and can express her gift, but only after feeling unsure of herself, her most important
...more
Shoa Khan

A sweet, middlegrade story of a Pakistani-American girl, Amina, who is trying to overcome her insecurities about being in the spotlight, being a good friend, and finding the right balance between her roots and the American life. This made for a nice read during Ramadan, and is especially relevant in today's times.

Eid Mubarak!
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on Xpresso Reads

It's in the title of this review post but I am going to repeat it anyway: Amina's Voice is one of the most important books published this year and has clearly not gotten the hype it deserves. It's a middle grade book and I know a lot of people shy away from reading those because reading tastes vary but please don't overlook this book. Amina's Voice is such a wonderful, heartfelt book and deserves and infinite amount of love from everybody.

I sh
...more
Dina
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
One of my friends had seen this on a list of 'Must Read Diverse Audiobooks' and suggested I read it. There were parts I ADORED and really related to (the current Islamophobia situation in America, growing up Muslim in the US, trying to balance faith with life, judgmental family members, etc..). I wish this kind of book had been around when I was 11 or 12. I can see it being one of my favorites if I had read it earlier in life.

I would probably describe it as the middle school, lighter version of
...more
theresa 🌸🥑
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
cute and moving!middle grade diversity books are so important and i will ALWAYS read them.💕
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Star rating: 4.5 stars

This book was so close to being a 5 star read. A middle-grade novel that was both emotional but beautifully written. Amina is a young Pakistani-American Muslim girl who goes to middle school and leaves with her family. They all attend the local mosque. Amina is a talented but very shy singer. She loves The Voice (I do too!) But is sad when her best friend suddenly decides to hang out with another girl. After this, the local mosque gets targeted and many items end up destroy
...more
Chelsea slytherink
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: Laura (bbliophile)
If you are looking for a fast-paced diverse read, I'd absolutely recommend Amina's Voice! This is a middle grade novel about a Pakistani-American girl named Amina (#OwnVoices representation) and her life in middle school and Sunday School at her local mosque.

I read this book in a handful of hours, so it's a very short read. On the one hand that made me even more excited to pick it up, but on the other it prevented the book from being more fleshed-out. That's probably to be expected from a book
...more
Michelle Glatt
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
An own voices story about a middle schooler's ups and downs with friendships and her nervousness about sharing her beautiful voice with others. It's also about growing up Muslim in America and the community's devestation and perseverance after vandalism and arson at a mosque.
rachel
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amina’s Voice took me by surprise. I should never have doubted the countless glowing reviews that urged me to pick this up but I am so glad that its Goodreads Choice Award nomination pushed me to finally get my hands on it. Wow. Khan has such a lush, gorgeous writing style and she brought Amina’s story to life with such skill for a debut novelist.

Amina, our protagonist, had such a vibrant voice. I completely adored her and all of the secondary characters. Her relationships with her family and fr
...more
Zaz
A book doing well on representation and diversity, but lacking an interesting plot.

Amina's life is divided in 3 parts: middle school, music and religion. When a girl starts to befriend Amina's best friend, she feels threatened. On top of that, her uncle is visiting her family, so she has to behave well, according to the Quran.

I don't at all live in a religious environment so all the parts about behaving according to religious precepts or participating to the activities of the church community fe
...more
Shirin
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All thanks to my friend Laura!!

also i couldn't hold in a cynical laugh when i heard 'no better place to be a muslim than america' lmao
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
This is such an important MG book! It's effortlessly diverse and incredibly heartfelt.
Bárbara
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a short book, yet such a sweet, moving story!

In a simplistic way, the title refers to Amina's journey to conquer her fear of speaking/singing in public. But once you delve deeper into the story, once you get a glimpse on specific situations Amina has to go through, it becomes clear that it also envelops Amina finding her courage to stand for and by herself, to speak her mind and to take responsibility for her actions- something that at some point, we all have to learn as we grow up
...more
Najwa (najreads)
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so wonderful and such a delight to read! I love it so much that i dont have words to describe how AMAZING it was. But I will try anyway.

It is raw and honest and literally, Amina's voice is very pure and innocent which makes the whole book very delightful. I love the family and sibling dynamics the most. The character development of both Amina and Mustafa is so good. The build up friendship between Amina, Soojin and Emily is really sweet and just so innocently cute.

Also the fact thi
...more
Sunny
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this middle grade novel. Amina Khokar is having a hard time adjusting to middle school's shifting friendships and she's trying to understand her more traditional uncle who is visiting from Pakistan. While she loves music, she's afraid of performing in public. Amina deals with the fear of losing her best friend, of disappointing her parents, and with the awful attack on the community's Islamic Center. I appreciated how an inter-faith effort rallied around the Muslim community in ...more
Bookishrealm
I thought this book was amazing. It was full of interesting aspects of the Muslim community and I'm so happy that the other took the time to actually write it and give readers some insight to what it's like to maintain being a part of your own culture and community and adapting to another. The characters were all diverse and I loved that. This is a children's book so it definitely reads quickly; however, it was phenomenal and the writing is great. If you have a child that you're trying to expose ...more
Erin Downing
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent!
Janani
First published at The Shrinkette.

I haven’t read a lot of middle-grade fiction since well before middle grade ( I was the annoying kid that thought it was only cool to read ‘above’ her reading level and no adult told me otherwise), and it’s such a delight to pick them up and read them as an adult. Hena Khan has woven such a vibrant story with these babies at the heart of it, filled with warmth and leaving you with hope.

The first thing that struck me while reading this was how early in their l
...more
Scott Fillner
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story! For me this was a window. I found myself stopping multiple times to learn more and connect with resources to find out about customs, beliefs, and traditions that I was unfamiliar with. This story also was a door in that it has been a great vehicle to allow me to build an even stronger relationship with a few of my students who this book would serve as more of a mirror. I read this book because many others had recommended it and now I see why. I highly recommend this book and can ...more
Neelam
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book and couldn't put it down. Ended up reading it in one sitting in a matter of hours.
I totally related to Amina from feeling like she didn't belong in school to no-one being able to pronounce her name! (I've all but given up trying to get people to say my name correctly).
I loved how the topic of islamophobia was tackled especially as it's written for younger readers.
I'm so glad books like this are being written and I wish i had these kind of stories when I was a kid.
Amy
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alamw-17
I like what this book represents more than I liked the book itself. I exist on a steady diet of middle grade problem novels, and through that lens, this wasn't a standout.

its strength was in its introduction of Muslim Pakistani-American characters in a developed, sympathetic, sensitive way

*review from ARC*
Anna
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
A nice realistic fiction with a protagonist that I could easily relate to. Her hopes, fears and reactions to situations in the book felt similar to mine even as an adult. The resolution at the end happened a bit too quickly for me but otherwise a lovely book.
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“Bradley Landry toward us. And this time, the three of us look at one another with alarm. Bradley’s the kid who can’t sit still for more than five minutes. In second grade, he was forced to sit on a chair” 0 likes
“But later that night, as I brush my teeth in the bathroom, I overhear Baba and Thaya Jaan talking in the guest room next door. “

All this music all the time. You shouldn’t let Amina do so much singing and piano,” Thaya Jaan says.

I stop brushing and strain to hear every word, trying to follow.

“But, Bhai Jaan, she is so talented. Her music teachers say she is really quite gifted.”

“Yes, but music is forbidden in Islam. It’s a waste of time and has no benefit. Instead of filling her head with music, she should focus on memorizing Quran.”

The toothpaste suddenly tastes bitter. I spit it out and wait to hear what Baba will say. Surely he’ll say the things he’s always told me, like how music makes him feel closer to God and that my talent is a gift from Allah.

But all Baba says is, “Yes, Bhai Jaan,” and then he stays quiet.

I am numb. Is Thaya Jaan right? Am I doing something wrong?
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