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Planet Omar #2

Unexpected Super Spy

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Welcome back to Planet Omar! The second book in Zanib Mian's laugh-out-loud series, with amazing cartoon-style illustrations from Nasaya Mafaridik. Perfect for fans of Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid.

Omar and his friends have been saving up their pocket money for ages so they can have the world's most epic Nerf Blaster battle. But when Omar discovers that his mosque is in trouble, they decide to donate their pennies to help save it.

Then they try to raise some more money by:
Doing some chores (boorrring)
Selling some home-made cookies (deeelicious)
Holding a talent contest (YESSSSSSS)

Everything goes PERFECTLY until the money mysteriously goes missing. Can they work out who has taken it in time to stop the mosque closing down?

And what exactly is Omar's sister Maryam hiding in her room...?

Have you read the first book in the series, Accidental Trouble Magnet ? Love Reading 4 Kids called it ' irresistible reading'!

256 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 6, 2020

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About the author

Zanib Mian

46 books76 followers
Zanib grew up in London, UK. She began writing stories and poetry when she was just a little girl, and was well known by her teachers, friends, and family to rhyme about anything that meant something to her. If you’re lucky, she will allow you to see some of her writing, which she has kept safe for over twenty five years!But you might have to visit her in her little Hobbit house in the Shire to see it!

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5 stars
161 (55%)
4 stars
91 (31%)
3 stars
31 (10%)
2 stars
4 (1%)
1 star
5 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 46 reviews
Profile Image for Hannah.
268 reviews
September 26, 2020
Another great book by Mian, I was hooked from front to back. I really like the fact that Omar and Charlie are friends with Daniel (who used to bully them). It shows the reader that you can forgive and put things behind you to build a great friendship. I also think it will encourage children to consider why another child is acting out, do they have something troubling them?

My favourite quotes:

'I think his imagination is getting stronger since we became friends' (Omar referring to Charlie)

'For a minute I thought I felt a lump in my throat. Nah, it must have been the samosa I had shoved in earlier...' - I loved this so much, a feeling that as an adult I just have in my mind, but this is the first time Omar has felt this so he doesn't even realise it's a real thing!
Profile Image for Mehsi.
11.9k reviews361 followers
August 25, 2020
Weer een leuk deel in de serie maar ik vond de zus toch echt een potje zeur.

Een nieuw deel in de Planeet Omar serie en ditmaal een moskee die problemen heeft, vriendschap, een vervelende zus dus, en nog veel meer. Ik heb echt genoten van het boek, het was erg leuk.

Over de zus. Ja, het is niet leuk als je broer je deur platloopt, maar praat dan gewoon normaal met hem. Vertel hem ook eerlijk dat het je hoog zit. En aan de ouders, misschien ook eens nadenken over hoe het is om privacy te hebben. Jullie willen dat toch ook? Gun je dochter dat ook. Ook vond ik het dus interessant dat zij weet wat er met het geld is gebeurd… maar dit achterhoudt tot er volle paniek is en van alles verder loopt. Hoe werkt dat?

Verder best leuk om te lezen en ik vind het ook nog steeds leuk dat Omar en zijn familie moslim zijn en we goed zien hoe het voor hen is (vooral het jongste broertje heeft het moeilijk met halal, maar dat is logisch hij is nog zo jong). Ik vond het leuk om te lezen over alle lekkere gerechten die moeder maakt.

En dan is er nog het grote plotgedeelte, de moskee heeft geld nodig en ik vond het geweldig dat Omar meteen in actie kwam. Al vond ik het wel komisch hoe hij dacht dat hij de enige was die hielp. Echt jongen. Nee. Maar lief dat je zo je best doet.

Ik ben het nog steeds niet eens dat Daniel zo makkelijk werd vergeven, maar ja dat is een trend in hedentijdse boeken. Die arme pestkoppen. Ze hebben het zwaar. Sorry, ik ben zelf jaren gepest tot het punt dat ik helemaal brak (en meer zal ik niet zeggen, maar ik gok dat je wel snapt hoe ver het ging). Ik vind het tof hoor dat je je pester een backstory wilt geven maar maakt dat alles dan maar gewoon magisch goed? Nee. Nooit. Of in ieder geval, het hoeft niet binnen 5 minuten opgelost te zijn.

Leuke illustratie, net zoals het vorige boek vond ik het een leuke stijl en het past goed bij het boek.

En ik ben blij dat er meer boeken in de serie komen. Want ik heb zeker nog niet genoeg Omar gehad. Wat zal hij de volgende keer doen?

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
Profile Image for Mathew.
1,492 reviews169 followers
December 19, 2020
A wonderful following up from Accidental Trouble Magnet. Omar's familial network grows this time through friendship and a small cast of fun, additional characters. This time the local mosque is in danger of having to be closed. With £30,000 pounds to raise in a short time, Omar knows that losing the mosque will deeply affect his parents and his community too so with some help from his friends, they try and plan events that will help bring in the funding.

Mian has a gentle, warm and humorous approach to her writing and coupled with Mafaridik's bold, simple illustrations the book makes for an easy, wholesome read. You come away from the story feeling good about the world and with a smile on your face. A lovely read for those beginning to be newly independent.

((Thank you Hannah Gardener for loaning me a copy!))
Profile Image for Juwi.
421 reviews87 followers
March 17, 2020
ANOTHER WONDERFULLY WHOLESOME AND PURE AND CUTE AND FUNNY BOOK!!! 10/10 would recommend to EVERYONE but also Omar is just so loveable and his HYPNOTIC SMILE! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽🥰🥰🥰

Loved how he called it the Secret Smile Mosque!

So so so glad This book exists for Muslims as Representation Matters!

Now more than ever children’s books are so important for empathy and reminding us that we are one we are all human and we need to help each other!

All the stars!!! ⭐️🌟💫✨
Profile Image for Hareb.
11 reviews1 follower
June 20, 2020
Why did i rate this book five stars?
- I really liked this book because of the style of writing and how the illustrations looked in the book it made it an easy read

What interested me?
- Omar was praying. He found the imam saying that the mosque will close down, the imam said that they’ll have to raise money to keep the mosque. Omar went to school and sold origami birds and cookies which lead to him gaining the money. At night, he sleptwalk and he hid the money without him knowing and told everyone that someone stole the money in the morning but it turned out that no one stole the money. Land slot Macintosh who is a billionaire came to their house riding a Ferrari to attend the tea party.

hi there !! I m his older sister and currently writing his reviews i have no idea if this is what happened in the story or not but i took a look at the story and it seems very interesting, if there are are more books from the two authors i ll be sure to purchase them.
Profile Image for Lauren Drake.
252 reviews4 followers
October 4, 2020
Another great book by Zanib Mian - i loved it just as much as the first in this series and was hooked straight from the start. I was so hooked that i found it difficult to put the book down - i just wanted to keep reading. I loved the way the book is told and the font used throughout is fun and exciting which i think will appeal to children. 100% recommend reading this.
Profile Image for Talha.
12 reviews
May 9, 2022
A thrilling sequel to the first one!
Profile Image for Lilyfae.
93 reviews2 followers
February 12, 2020
I loved Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet for its loving #ownvoices immersion in a British Pakistani family adapting to life in a new town, new school and the ups and downs that brings and I’m so pleased to say that Omar has returned better than ever and with wonderful illustrations returning from Nasaya Mafiridik

You can’t help but love Omar whether he is caught sneaking down to play X-Box after bedtime or giving his mum the most creative (though not necessarily enjoyable) full-sensory spa treatment ever.
In the original Planet Omar, Zanib Mian embedded into the story details and explanations about British-Pakistani and British Muslim life within a frankly gorgeous and loving family. This book similarly explores concepts to celebrate diversity with young British Pakistani and Muslim children recognising themselves in Omar’s family and the way they have both British and Pakistani-Muslim elements

Planet Omar Unexpected Super Spy is a super-cute illustrated adventure through the life of Omar as he shines and struggles but always with kindness and good intentions in his heart.
33 reviews
July 19, 2021
This book is great because it is about Omar and his friends saving enough money so the mosque does not need to close down. They save up a lot of money by starting a talent show at there school but they don't receive enough money. Then when they wake up they found that their money is gone but in the end they found out that Omar stole it because he was sleep walking and took the money😮. Instead Miss Huchinson's uncle gave the exact amount of money they needed for the mosque to stay open😄!At the start of the book Omar really wanted a nerf blaster but he used the money he had for the mosque but then his sister, Maryam bought Omar and his friends the nerf blaster they all wanted😀😁😊😄😃🙂!

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
472 reviews14 followers
August 18, 2020
Unexpected Super Spy is the second book in the Planet Omar series and it is just as much fun as the first.

Omar is happy at school with his his best friend Charlie and bully-turned-friend Daniel. They are all looking forward to getting Laser Nerf Blasters so they can have a Nerf battle. Omar has being saving hard and is thrilled to ‘crack-open’ his savings pot and find enough money to buy the Nerf Blaster.

But when the mosque he and his family regularly visit is in danger of closing down, Omar decides that his money needs to go towards saving the mosque. The only problem is he is a few thousand pounds short of the total the mosque needs. Can Omar and his friends raise the funds needed to save the mosque?

Another brilliant read from Zanib Mian. Omar and his Muslim family are very likeable characters and are typical of any other family. As with the first book, It has all of the drama and hilarity of everyday family life. It is fantastic that Muslim children have a character in Omar that they can relate to. Mian helps non-Muslims understand Muslim daily life and there are references to daily rituals including visits to the mosque, explanations about Halal foods, mentions of Allah and plenty of biriyani.

There is so much to like in this funny book. The children are full of good ideas to save the mosque - selling their own possessions (just the ones that they no longer need), they will complete chores for money, bake cookies with the help of now-friendly neighbour Mrs. Rogers, offer at-home spa treatments and run a school talent show. It is through all of these endeavours that much of the action plays out and Omar’s lively imagination is never short of a new idea.

Omar’s relationship with his older sister Maryam will be relatable to any child with a sibling. They argue, they fall out, they annoy each other, and when all is said and done they love each other. The race to raise the money for the mosque brings out their competitive sides and neither wants to be outdone by the other.

Black and white cartoon style illustrations by Nasaya Mafaridik, zany page layouts and the use of different fonts all add to the fun. In amongst the fun there are important messages on chasing dreams, never giving up and the importance of community and communities pulling together. When money that Omar has raised goes missing it raises the issue of trust and when the money finally does turn up the cause of its disappearance is lighthearted and fun.

Omar is like any other child - he loves playing with his mates, he argues with his siblings and just wants to have fun! The book captures the trials and tribulations of being a child perfectly and shows that regardless of race and religion children are all very much alike.

Recommended for 7+.
Profile Image for Caitlyn.
198 reviews1 follower
April 24, 2021
Another great Omar adventure. This time Omar and his friends work together to raise money for his local mosque which is in danger of closing down. The adventure takes an unexpected turn when the money they raise goes missing. Omar, Charlie and Daniel have to take on the role of detectives to try and work out who could have stolen the money and get it back before the mosque's deadline.

Reading this book put such a massive smile on my face. I'm not sure I can quite convey in words how perfect this series of books is. All of these adventures involve Omar being amazingly brave and kind and it just makes me heart melt. Added to this he has such an upbeat and imaginative way of looking at the world that it's just so much fun to be in his head. The illustrations and different fonts used throughout the book bring the pictures that the words create to life in hilarious ways.

I absolutely adore the friendship between Omar, Daniel and Charlie. Their different personalities mix so well and I love how their friendship makes Charlie more confident and helps Daniel to make better choices. I'm also so pleased that the book shows these boys hugging each other when they're happy or needing comfort and holding hands when they're nervous. This is such a positive thing for boys (and girls) in my class to read about and have normalised.

After reading this book, I am more than happy to continue recommending this series to readers aged 7+. I believe it is one of the best children's book series currently publishing.
214 reviews4 followers
July 17, 2020
Omar and his family are back. And this time they're joined from the start by friends made in the first book. In this book, the mosque is in trouble and Omar is determined to help. He gets together with his friends Daniel and Charlie and plans ways to make money. They do well, but then the money goes missing! Omar turns spy to try to find the thief! Will they find the money in time to help to save the mosque?

Written in an easy to read style with line drawings and fun fonts where appropriate, this book is brilliant for those getting into longer chapter books. Omar and his family and friends are all likeable characters and you're rooting for them from the start.
The story progresses at just the right pace and I love the way Omar's imagination seeps into the chapters.
I wouldn't recommend reading this book until you have read the first (Accidental Trouble Magnet) as it gives the background to Omar's relationships which I think is important.

I can't wait to share this one in school as I'm sure many of our children will be able to identify with Omar and will love to see someone like them in a book!
I hope that Omar will continue to have adventures for us to read about!
I received an eARC of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Shifa  Safadi.
200 reviews15 followers
December 10, 2021
I mean, if there ever was a perfect chapter book made for little Muslim boys living in the west, this would be it!! @zanibmian has done an amazing job continuing Omar’s journey in this second book and showing his sense of adventure, excitement, kindness, and intelligence! This is the same funny character we have grown to love in the first book, back with a mystery this time!

Omar’s beloved neighborhood mosque is in danger of closing down, and so Omar and his two best friends Daniel and Charlie come up with ideas to save it. Omar does chores around the house, but he decides that it isn’t enough to reach the goal of 30,000.
He comes up with the idea of a talent show and he talks with his favorite teacher. His teacher and principal help him set it up at school (which I thought was so awesome) and they raise a little over 1000.
But the next day, Omar realizes the money is missing.

The reader is swept up in the fun world of mystery solving and the end is a twist you won’t see coming! I won’t spoil it, just because I really loved reading about it myself, and I want the readers to enjoy that too.

The book includes Islamic morals and influences and helps instill pride and connection for every little Muslim reading the book!
Profile Image for Annamarie Carlson (she, her).
965 reviews14 followers
March 13, 2021
Omar is so excited to use his saved money to buy a super awesome Nerf Blaster! But days before his big purchase, Omar finds out that his mosque is in trouble. The roof is collapsing, and if the mosque doesn't raise enough money, it will have to close. Omar and his friends work hard to raise money with chores and selling some cool creations, but they think they might have found the best money-making option in a school-wide talent show. They raise so much money, and everything looks like it will turn out okay...until the money goes missing. Can they find it before it is too late?

This was a lot of fun! I remember not being a big fan of the first Omar book, but I am so glad to have picked up book two. Lots of everyday kid shenanigans, with a scattering of British terms throughout (Omar's family lives in London). This series will appeal to fans of Wimpy Kid and Big Nate looking for books with some illustrations but a bit more text than those series.
Profile Image for Runa Begum.
79 reviews2 followers
February 29, 2020
My nephew who is 9 and I read this book together. We loved this story and now we would like to read the first book of the series 'Planet Omar accidental trouble magnet' by the same author.

Omar is the main character and is a Pakistani Muslim. In this book, Omar's parents encourage him to donate to their local mosque but the money goes missing. Omar and his friends, Charlie and Daniel investigate different people including his sister Maryam to find out who had stolen the money.

This is a great story with relatable characters. The author has written it in the first person in a child's perspective with humour. There are comic like illustrations. It's similar to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid as well as Tom Gates.
Profile Image for Amy Carter.
114 reviews1 follower
March 18, 2020
After loving the first book, I could not wait to get my hands on the second book! The use of the illustrations/typography would make this book accessible to younger children/children who struggle with reading and I think it also helped the reader to feel like they were inside the mind of Omar and could relate to what he was going through. The humorous nature of the text helped to sensitively touch on issues such as racism, stereotyping and different cultures. I loved the story of this one and how amazing Omar and his friends were in trying to save the mosque - it was very heart-warming. I could read these books over and over again, they are so fun, informative and children would love them. Very excited for book 3!
Profile Image for Judy Wollin.
442 reviews2 followers
November 25, 2022
Omar is busy saving his pocket money to buy a Nerf Blaster like his friend Daniel. He couldn’t wait.
Mum is hassling Omar to get ready. He’s dawdling. The family head to their local mosque together. Omar’s parents tell him they like their mosque and feel closer to Allah, but the news is terrible. The mosque will close unless the community can raise enough money to pay for urgent repairs to the roof.
Omar gives his savings to his mother for the mosque and sets about raising money at school. With the help of his teacher and all the other students at the school, Omar raises £1,419.50, but it vanishes. Omar and his friend Daniel set out to find the thief.
I enjoyed the value of community conveyed in the story.
Recommended for readers 8-12 years.
Profile Image for Ann.
372 reviews7 followers
July 24, 2022
This was on one of NPR's recommended reading lists for middle grade readers and it was a bit of a disappointment. The story was predictable and I didn't feel connected to the characters. It is supposed to be funny but I never laughed. By the end I was just skimming to finish.

The only noteworthy thing is that Omar, the main character, is Muslim. There were casual references to food being halal (or not), and the plot centers around raising money for the mosque. It was interesting to read a book with these references.
Profile Image for Libby.
970 reviews20 followers
April 21, 2020
This short chapter book about Omar and his friends is unique because Omar's Muslim religion is very much presented as part of his day-to-day life. I like that "own voices" perspective. But the story itself was not particularly memorable and seemed to try too hard to be cute. An average beginning chapter book.
Review based on an ARC received from NetGalley.
Profile Image for Karin.
1,876 reviews25 followers
December 31, 2020
Wish I could have listened to this one too but I still had the narrator's voice from book 1 in my head as I read this one (book 2). Charming and hilarious chapter book about a British Pakistani Muslim boy and his friends and their efforts to raise money to save the local "secret smile" mosque. With line drawings. ❤️
Profile Image for Stacy  Natal.
1,070 reviews11 followers
June 22, 2021
Second book in this series about a Muslim boy Omar and his friends who work together to raise money to help save the community mosque. Great warm characters and the format, varied fonts, partial graphic novel type illustrations throughout make it more accessible to striving readers in the intermediate grades.
4 reviews
February 11, 2022
I don’t know what to say. Mian has done it again. This shows that children are much more powerful than people think. I also love how this book sorta represents diversity and the moral “forgive and forget” as Danial is now friends with Charlie and Omar. In this book, Zanib Mian has really outdone herself.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Margaret Boling.
2,223 reviews35 followers
July 22, 2022
7/20/2022 ~ This book was just so much fun to read. I appreciated the way the whole community, Muslim and non-Muslim, worked together to raise money for the repairs needed to keep Omar's mosque open. For non-Muslim readers, there are bits of information worked into the story, such as what Halal food is. Great twist at the end too. Definitely adding this series to my elementary library.
355 reviews2 followers
March 13, 2020
After meeting Zanib I was so excited to find out there is a second Planet Omar!!! It’s just as good and keeps the humour and silliness up, while still teaching me so much about religion. The children in my class loved the first one and I know they will love the second one just as much.
Profile Image for Alison Wickham.
123 reviews
May 6, 2020
SBC3 Summer 2020

This book was a great sequel to the first, bringing just as much fun, nonsense and adventure. The book continues to normalise the reflection of BAME characters in children's books. A perfect reading for pleasure text for the Y3 squirrels.
Profile Image for Yapha.
2,620 reviews72 followers
November 11, 2020
Great second book in the Planet Omar series! In this one, Omar rallies his friends to try and raise money so his mosque won't have to be shut down. They receive help from unexpected places. Highly recommended for grades 1 & up.
455 reviews
April 2, 2021
After book 1, I definitely wanted to read more in this series. Omar is a fascinating character who brings to life the life of a Muslim boy, his family, and his friends. This series helps to dispel many of te stereotypes about Muslims.
Profile Image for Hanif Ur-Rehman.
26 reviews
September 19, 2021
Zanib Mian has written another lovely book for children. As a Muslim parent, it’s been very difficult to find a book that is both religious and fun to read to my child. This book and series is both. The books touch on Islam but not in a heavy handed sort of way. A great read for all ages.
Profile Image for Bookworm86 .
1,406 reviews115 followers
January 19, 2022
Absolutely fantastic book that is very well written and is hilarious as well as being a good informative way to teach children about other cultures. Myself and my 9 year old son really enjoyed reading it
Displaying 1 - 30 of 46 reviews

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