Muslim Stories

An Emotion of Great Delight
by Tahereh Mafi

In the wake of 9/11, Shadi, a child of Muslim immigrants, tries to navigate her crumbling world of death, heartbreak, and bigotry in silence, until finally everything changes.

Driving by Starlight
by Anat Deracine

In this debut YA friendship story set in Saudi Arabia, two girls navigate typical teen issues–crushes, college, family expectations, future hopes, and dreams. Sixteen-year-olds Leena and Mishie are best friends. Leena wants college, independence–she wants a different life. Though her story is specific to her world (a world where it’s illegal for women to drive, where a ten-year-old boy is the natural choice as guardian of a fatherless woman), ultimately it’s a story about friendship, family, and freedom that transcends cultural differences.

The Awakening of Malcolm X
by Ilyasah Shabazz

While in Charlestown Prison in the 1940s, young Malcolm Little reads all the books in the library, joins the debate team and the Nation of Islam, and emerges as Malcolm X.

A Muslim-American teen goes into denial mode about her role in an out-of-control party that occured during Ramadan, a situation that escalates until she incurs damage that is harder to repair, forcing her to come to terms with her true self.

Down and Across
by Arvin Ahmadi

His friends know what they want to do with the rest of their lives, but Scott Ferdowsi can hardly commit to a breakfast cereal, let alone a passion. With his parents pushing him to settle on a “practical” career, Scott sneaks off to Washington, DC, seeking guidance from a famous psychologist who claims to know the secret to success. He meets Fiora Buchanan, a ballsy college student whose life ambition is to write crossword puzzles. Now Scott is sneaking into bars, attempting to pick up girls at the National Zoo, and even giving the crossword thing a try. Will he be able to find out who he is– and who he wants to be?

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali is looking forward to going to Caltech and getting away from her conservative Muslim parents’ expectation that she will marry, especially since she is in love with her girlfriend Ariana–but when her parents catch her kissing Ariana, they whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh and a world of tradition and arranged marriages, and she must find the courage to fight for the right to choose her own path.

Ms. Marvel
by G. Willow Wilson

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either.

High school has ended, and Shabnam Qureshi is facing a summer of loneliness and boredom. She’s felt alienated from her gutsy best friend, Farah, ever since Farah started wearing the Muslim head scarf–without even bothering to discuss it with Shabnam first. But no one else comes close to understanding her, especially not her parents. All Shabnam wants to do is get through the summer. Get to Penn. Begin anew. Not look back. That is, until she meets Jamie…In her quest to figure out who she really is and what she really wants, Shabnam looks for help in an unexpected place–her family.

Here We Are Now
by Jasmine Warga

While her mother is out of town, sixteen-year-old Taliah accompanies her estranged father–a famous rock star who one day appears on her doorstep–to Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his dying father and the rest of his family, and on the way, Taliah learns about how her parents met and separated, her mother’s experience as a Jordanian immigrant, and her own ability to accept change and open up to others.

If You Could Be Mine
by Sara Farizan

In Iran, where homosexuality is punishable by death, seventeen-year-olds Sahar and Nasrin love each other in secret until Nasrin’s parents announce their daughter’s arranged marriage and Sahar proposes a drastic solution.