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This is a fantastic debut contemporary teen novel that tells the story of a Muslim teen, Janna, and her acceptance of her identity. Told in first person, Janna has some preconceived notions of some of her close friends, and needs to be strong and brave as she fights others preconceived notions of good and bad. Questioning herself, her motives, her strengths and her faith, Janna is a fully formed heroine for our time! Appreciating differences and strength in family is a key theme in this terrific book. I would love to see a continuing of Janna and her family! - Maureen
“This is a fantastic contemporary teen debut that tells the story of a Muslim teen, Janna, and her acceptance of her identity. Janna has some preconceived notions about some of her close friends and needs to be strong and brave as she fights others’ preconceived notions of good and bad. Questioning herself, her motives, her strengths, and her faith, Janna is a fully formed heroine for our time! Appreciating differences and strength in family are key themes in this terrific book.”
— Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA
A William C. Morris Award Finalist An Entertainment Weekly Best YA Book of 2017
Saints and Misfits is a “timely and authentic” (School Library Journal, starred review) debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.
There are three kinds of people in my world:
1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose.
2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me—the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama’s-Boy-Muhammad.
Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds.
But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right?
3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories.
Like the monster at my mosque.
People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask.
About the Author
S. K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her family of Muslim scholars is consistently listed in the The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching. A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S. K. Ali’s debut YA is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith.
A fantastic book featuring a black, female, and queer main character! This story takes you to the heart of romance as Alice explores relationships and the different ways she expresses her love of others and how those around her express their love for her. Perfect teen romance. - Jessica