Book Lists: Books with Muslim Representation

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Representation and diversity is so important in books and media. I may be cisgender, straight, and white, but I want to read diversely–partly because I believe doing so strenghtens my empathy and helps me understand the experience of those different from me, but also because I know there are people who didn’t grow up seeing themselves represented, and they deserve to. Today’s book list is books that feature a Muslim main character.

  • Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Genre: Contemporary YA

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.79

TW: SA

Janna believes there are three types of people in the world: saints, misfits (like her), and monsters–especailly monsters disguised as saints like the one at her mosque.

  • Mad, Bad, & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.79

It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet is conflicted. She should love to be on vacation with her parents but her boyfriend is ghosting her, she may have blown her chance at getting into her dream college, and she misses home in Chicago. Two hundred years before Khayyam’s summer, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favored status in his harem. In the present day—and with the company of a descendant of Alexandre Dumas—Khayyam begins to connect allusions to an enigmatic 19th-century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, and Lord Byron.

  • The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Genre: Fantasy

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.13

In 1700s Cairo, Nahri doesn’t believe in magic–only the con tricks she has been learning her whole life. But when she accidentally summons a djin warrior, she has to reassess her beliefs. The warrior tells her a tale of Daevabad, a legendary city of brass. In the city lie six gates to six djinn tribes and they are all full of resentments. When Nahri enters their world, she learns the magic can indeed be brutal.

  • The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Genre: LGBT Romance

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.01

When Nishat comes out, her parents urge her to hide that part of herself–because good Muslim girls can’t be lesbians. It gets even harder when Nishat’s childhood friend comes back into her life. She instantly falls for Flavia. When a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture.

  • Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabina Khan

Genre: LGBT Contemporary

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.76

TWs: bullying, violence

Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain lives in Corpus Christi, Texas. Though facing islamophobia, she tries to lay low so as not to mess up her family’s immigration status as they wait for their green card–they’ve been waiting for nine years. But one day Tyler Benson leaves a threatening note in her locker and gets suspended. As revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara’s home which leads to a violent crime. Now she has to choose whether she will fight to stay or lose everything.

  • The Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela

Genre: Historical Fiction

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.80

In 2010, Natasha, a half-Russian, half-Sudanese professor is researching the life of Imam Shamil, the 19th century Muslim leader who led the anti-Russian resistance in the Caucasian War. When she discovers that her student, Oz, is descended from the warrior and has his precious sword, the story truly comes to life, forcing Natasha to evaluate her own Muslim heritage. When Oz is suddenly arrested, Natasha and everything she stands for is in jeopardy.

  • Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

Genre: Romance

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.79

Always unlucky in love, Sofia is ready to renounce men after her latest failed relationship. That is, until her boss convinces her to write a tell-all expose about what Muslim dating life is like.

  • The White Nights of Ramadan by Maha Addasi, illustrated by Ned Gannon

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.89

Noor lives with her family in Kuwait. They are preparing for the Muslim festival, Girgian. Mid-Ramadan in the Persian Gulf is known as the “three whites” because they include the full moon, the day before, and after. Children dress in traditional clothes and go to houses collecting treats. But in the midst of the fun, Noor and her family remember the true meaning of Ramadan.

  • That Can Be Arranged by Huda Fahmy

Genre: Graphic Novel, Memoir

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.22

Huda Fahmy recounts how she met and married her husband, between her gossping and meddling family, her mismatched suitors, and societel expectations of a Muslim woman in the 21st century.

By myadventure2017

Writer, Reader, Bookstagrammer, Booktoker, Blogger

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