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Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero



by
Saadia Faruqi

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
HarperCollins
Imprint
Quill Tree
ISBN
9780062943255
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Religious , Violence: Mild Violence , Violence: Child Abuse
$20.22   $16.85
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A powerful and relevant story from the author of A Thousand Questions, about friendship, pride, grief, and standing up for what is right. The ideal next read for fans of Hena Khan, Jewell Parker Rhodes, and Varian Johnson—or for any young reader grappling with recent US history and current events.

Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas—and nearly that long waiting for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can win.

Only, this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks—an anniversary that has everyone in his family on edge. After reading his uncle’s journal from that time, Yusuf feels like he almost understands what the nation’s fear and anger felt like.

With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the anger hasn’t gone away. And soon, he will have to stand up to the bullies, with understanding, justice, and love.Author’s note. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Religious , Violence: Mild Violence , Violence: Child Abuse

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

368

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

4.6: points 10

Genre

Fic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Dec 2021

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Middle schools. Discrimination. US Muslims. Pakistani Americans. September 11 terrorist attacks, 2001. Family life. Journals. Texas. Bullying. Friendship. Robotics competitions.

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Twenty years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, 11-year-old sixth grader and robotics enthusiast Yusuf Azeem lives with his Pakistani American family in a small Texas town. His father is an immigrant businessman-turned-hometown-hero, his Texas-born mother is a freelance journalist, and he has a doting three-year-old younger sister. The close-knit Muslim community in the town, including the Azeems, attend local activities such as youth football games and parades alongside their non-Muslim neighbors, partially in an effort to fit in. However, changes are afoot in their town: hateful graffiti is sprawled on buildings; a white nationalist group takes root and challenges the Muslim community's long-standing plans to build a mosque; and school bullying of Muslim students, including Yusuf, occurs daily. These events make it clear to the Muslims of Frey, TX, that they may never be truly embraced for who they are, throwing into question the personal and communal sacrifices that they have made, and forcing Yusuf to forge his own path in the pursuit of justice. Relatable and multidimensional characters of various ages and backgrounds are portrayed with nuance and empathy. Journal entries written by Yusuf's Uncle Rahman from his own childhood at the time of the attacks offer additional insight into the impact of 9/11. The young characters' struggles to balance personal commitments to their faith with parental expectations and their own desires will resonate with readers of many backgrounds. An author's note explains that the story was inspired by the experiences of Ahmed Mohamed, nicknamed "The Clock Boy," a Muslim Texan school boy who was wrongly accused of bringing a bomb to school. VERDICT Gripping, well-paced, and poignant, this is an essential purchase for all libraries and a must-read book of our times that raises important questions about who controls historical narratives, what it means to stand up for justice, and the legacy of an event that cannot be forgotten.-Mahasin A. Aleem, Oakland P.L., CA

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Twenty years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, 11-year-old sixth grader and robotics enthusiast Yusuf Azeem lives with his Pakistani American family in a small Texas town. His father is an immigrant businessman-turned-hometown-hero, his Texas-born mother is a freelance journalist, and he has a doting three-year-old younger sister. The close-knit Muslim community in the town, including the Azeems, attend local activities such as youth football games and parades alongside their non-Muslim neighbors, partially in an effort to fit in. However, changes are afoot in their town: hateful graffiti is sprawled on buildings; a white nationalist group takes root and challenges the Muslim community's long-standing plans to build a mosque; and school bullying of Muslim students, including Yusuf, occurs daily. These events make it clear to the Muslims of Frey, TX, that they may never be truly embraced for who they are, throwing into question the personal and communal sacrifices that they have made, and forcing Yusuf to forge his own path in the pursuit of justice. Relatable and multidimensional characters of various ages and backgrounds are portrayed with nuance and empathy. Journal entries written by Yusuf's Uncle Rahman from his own childhood at the time of the attacks offer additional insight into the impact of 9/11. The young characters' struggles to balance personal commitments to their faith with parental expectations and their own desires will resonate with readers of many backgrounds. An author's note explains that the story was inspired by the experiences of Ahmed Mohamed, nicknamed "The Clock Boy," a Muslim Texan school boy who was wrongly accused of bringing a bomb to school. VERDICT Gripping, well-paced, and poignant, this is an essential purchase for all libraries and a must-read book of our times that raises important questions about who controls historical narratives, what it means to stand up for justice, and the legacy of an event that cannot be forgotten.-Mahasin A. Aleem, Oakland P.L., CA

Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

Stories with strong, relatable characters that portray believable contemporary or historical real-life experiences.

14 books per Year
$285.46 per Year
Interests
Chapter Books/Novels,Diversity,Fiction,History,Realistic Fiction
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Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$285.46 per Year

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