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A Thousand Questions

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  516 ratings  ·  141 reviews
Set in Karachi, the middle grade contemporary novel follows American-born Mimi as she searches for her absent father, and Pakistani-born Sakina, who balances her dreams against her family's needs, over the course of a summer. ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published September 8th 2020 by Quill Tree Books
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Average rating 4.34  · 
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 ·  516 ratings  ·  141 reviews

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Fadwa (Word Wonders)
CW: extreme poverty, classism, father with a chronic illness (diabetes), breaking and entering, theft, mistreatment.

This was a really heartfelt and heartbreaking read that was ultimately hopeful and tentative in its happiness. I loved reading about the friendship between Mimi and Sakina, how they helped each other, how they overcame their differences and challenges each other in more ways that one. I also liked seeing different family dynamics being portrayed.
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Something that I've been thinking about lately is how to reconcile the divide and animosity between 'native'/'mainland' people and people of diaspora. If you know, you know. Sometimes, it feels insurmountable and sometimes I feel hopeless about what we can possibly do to bridge that gap - we're just too different, born from different worlds though often lumped together, and friction and resentment arises when we try to reconcile.

And then, you read a book like A Thousand Questions that makes me f
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
I don't normally read middle grade, but I LOVED the middle grade book this author cowrote (A PLACE AT THE TABLE) and would love to get my hands on this. It sounds so good. ;~; ...more
Fizah(Books tales by me)
Mimi-Maryam-is visiting her maternal grandparents for the first time. She lives in Houston with her mother, her father left them when she was 5 years old but she is not over him. Karachi is new for her, everything is new and strange.

Sakina works at Mimi’s grandparents home with her abba (father) who is the cook there. Sakina wants to get to school but she can’t afford it and for getting a scholarship she needs to improve her English.

This story is about how two different girls became friends in a
Kate Olson
Set in Karachi, Pakistan, this is a captivating, unique and important story. And the author’s note is a must read that adds so much to the story - if you’re reading this book out loud, or doing a book talk, maybe lead with the author’s note. Grades 4-6.
Sakina (aforestofbooks)
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, 2020
What do I even say? I wish I had this book when I was a little girl. It perfectly captures so much of my life. Being a Pakistani immigrant, growing up in Western society, visiting Pakistan and experiencing the culture shock... It was just SO GOOD.

I mainly picked up this book because one of the main characters is named Sakina. This is the second book I've read this year with a character who has the same name as me. I never thought the day would come that I'd get to experience that. Sakina's story
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely unexpected Gem of a book. Filled with all the ups and downs of childhood, split evenly between wealth and poverty, and above all, a happy ending that felt earned.

5 stars.

Full review to come.

Warnings: extreme poverty, mentions of violence, political unrest, chronic illness (diabetes).
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 64 of 2021

An amazing MG book set in Pakistan, featuring two girls - one middle class Pakistani-American (Mimi) who's living an okay life in America and discovers her grandparents in Pakistan are actually very rich, and a poor Pakistani girl (Sakina) who's the servant of Mimi's grandparents.

The worlds of these two girls collide when Mimi's mother takes her on vacation to Pakistan. There, they become quick friends, and influence and help each other a lot.

Set against the backdrop of an electio
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Between this and A Place at the Table, Saadia Faruqi really knows how to write friendships (as well as the intersection of different cultures). I was impressed by how this book handled poverty, cultural differences, privilege, and family, and I loved to watch Mimi and Sakina support and learn from each other even as they misunderstand each other and despite their very different circumstances. I also loved the setting in Karachi, Pakistan, because it's a country less often seen in books and portr ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Mimi and her mother like in Houston, Texas, but things have not been going well lately. Her father, a US born reporter, left long ago, and her Pakistani born mother has struggled to make ends meet by teaching and creating art. Mimi has never met her mother's parents, but is unsure about spending six weeks visiting them in Karachi. Nana and Nani are well-to-do and were greatly disappointed in their daughter's choice of husband, but glad to see their family. Sakina
Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this middle-grade novel; it felt like traveling to Pakistan. Saadia Faruqi writes about two sides of a well-loved city: the wealthy and the poor, and shows that each side may have valid reason to envy the other. In A Thousand Questions, a genuine friendship connects two young girls despite the barriers of status, language, and culture. If you enjoy books set in Asia and the Middle East, books about food or friendship, or those with an exciting dash of mystery and adventure, you’ll love ...more
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Dear Dad, I am your daughter, and I have some questions for you...1000 to be exact.

I loved this story of a mom Maryam Ji and her daughter Mimi. It opened my eyes seeing Karachi, Pakistan in their eyes and in their story. Maryam and Mimi are visiting Maryam parents in Pakistan from Dallas, Texas. Mimi has never been to her mother's home and is excited and a little apprehensive to the different culture and language. She brings her journal that is actually many letters to her father who is a repor
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
AKKKK !! I really adore the friendship between Sakina and Mimi 🥺🥺. Really love how the story end up with heartwarming feeling 😭😭. Love the idea of the story with stating issue of privilege, political issue and finding family. 💙💙💙
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a beautiful and heartfelt story of two young girls from completely different worlds who end up spending time together over a summer and realise that despite their differences they can be friends and support and help each other. I related so much to both Mimi and Sakina in different ways and I loved both of them but I do love Sakina a little bit more and my heart broke for her and the circumstances she was in.

Mimi is a young girl who knows little about her roots and her family beyond
Review copy: Digital ARC via Netgalley

This is a fabulous story of family, identity, friendship and going after dreams. Mimi and Sakina appear to have very different lives, but they learn a lot from each other and inspire each other to do hard things. I loved getting to see Karachi from both an insider and outsider point of view. I have to admit that I am jealous of young people today having the ability to use the Internet to see the setting of a book using Google Maps and other resources. I had
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mimi and her art-teacher mother, who live in Houston, are spending summer in Pakistan with the grandparents Mimi has never met. Mimi isn't eager to leave everything familiar, but she does take her funny-saying t-shirts and the journal in which she writes letters to her white, journalist father, who left the family when Mimi was six. She has so many questions for him, but no hope of answers. In Pakistan, Sakina works with her father in the kitchen of Mimi's grandparents' house, though Sakina woul ...more
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
See my full review here:

A THOUSAND QUESTIONS is a heartfelt contemporary middle grade that transports the reader to Pakistan. Mimi is 11 years old and half-Pakistani/half-European American. Her father left when she was little, and she still misses him dearly, even though her mother does not wish to talk about him. Mimi is worried about spending the summer in Pakistan, where she will stay with her grandparents that she does not know very well.

When she arri
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Upper Elementary Book with an Actual Story

Many upper elementary books seem to be written with a lot of dialog but aren’t about anything at all. This one is very nice book with a story. It could be tightened up a bit and edited but it’s there’s good here. An eleven year old girl goes with her mother to Pakistan where her mother was born. Her father has been out of sight for a long while. The girl thinks her father is still in America and writes letters to him though she hasn’t seen him in a long
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I love about this is that although Mimi, who is American born, but whose mother was born in Pakistan, she only remain all that ignorant for long. True, she never quite gets that her t-shirt slogans are not funny to anyone but her, but she does begin to get used to Karachi and the rules of the country.

At that age, it is very easy to just feel above the local people, because America is so much better. But by pulling back, and seeing the world in another way, she get to see the good things tha
High Plains Library District
Absolutely loved this young adult, own voice, fiction novel, narrated by two young girls, so different yet so alike. It’s so important that we have books like this where kids relate to the story, they can see themselves as characters in the book. Incorporating the Urdu language throughout the book is beautiful and educational for those of us not from Pakistan. The description of the sounds, smells and climate of Karachi made me feel like I was there with Mimi and Sakina. The words used to descri ...more
Charlotte Burns
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a beautiful story of family and friendship. I loved everything about this book. Highly recommended.
It was a good story, even though I didn't love it. Mimi was slightly annoying, but I did like Sakina a lot. ...more
Knowing where you come from and actually seeing it are two very different things. At least for Mimi. She leaves the US, not wanting to visit her grandparents. Mimi wasn’t always my favourite character, she was so judgemental and honestly selfish but she was also kind and generous.

As for Sakina she is this smart level-headed servant girl who thinks Mimi is going to make her summer difficult, which isn’t technically a lie. She’s got too much on her shoulder I myself would have crumbled under the
Barb Middleton
I loved this book except the last chapter where the poor people’s problems were solved by the rich family’s money.
Hana (linh_hermione)
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2021
CW: extreme poverty; classism; chronic illness of a loved one; intimidation & bullying; breaking and entering
I received an electronic ARC from HarperCollins Children's Books through NetGalley.
Mimi and her mom arrive in Pakistan to spend time with her mom's parents. As they live in Houston, Mimi experiences culture shock when they arrive. She finds a friend in one of the servants who is her age. Mimi and Sakina overcome first impressions and learn about each other. Mimi sees the severe poverty that Sakina's family lives in. They forge a bond and support each other through the family issues (Sakina's dad
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book.

I love the author's Yasmin chapter books, as well as her middle grade debut with Laura Shovan called A PLACE AT THE TABLE, but this is a fantastic way to kick off her solo MG debut. It's so rich in detail and gives us a glimpse of the life of a Pakistani-American girl named Mimi, and her trip with her mother to Pakistan to spend part of the summer with relatives she doesn't know. Mimi befriends Sakina, a local girl who works in h
Laura Gardner
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love how Sadia Faruqi writes about complicated friendship. Her books also always make me hungry! This one was really special. Pakistan just came alive.
Aug 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley and Quill Tree books for this middle grade arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I'll post that review upon publication.

3.5 stars

This is a solid middle grade novel centered on the alternating perspectives of Mimi and Sakina. Mimi is visiting Pakistan with her mother, and Sakina works as a servant for Mimi's grandparents. There is - as expected - some focus on class, socioeconomic status, and cultural differences throughout the novel.

Though readers spend ti
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Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American author, essayist and interfaith activist. She writes the children’s early reader series “Yasmin” published by Capstone and other books for children, including middle grade novels “A Place At The Table” (HMH/Clarion 2020) co-written with Laura Shovan, and “A Thousand Questions” (Harper Collins 2020). She has also written “Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage fr ...more

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