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Yusuf is excited to start middle school and join the robotics team until he is confronted with prejudice and racism around the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Yusuf feels lost and alone until he reads his uncle's journal from 2001. With well-developed characters and timely themes, this bighearted novel is full of hope and community.— Chelsea
At a time when we are all asking questions about identity, grief, and how to stand up for what is right, this book by the author of A Thousand Questions will hit home with young readers who love Hena Khan and Varian Johnson—or anyone struggling to understand recent U.S. history and how it still affects us today.
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 Muslim community on edge.
With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger from two decades ago hasn’t gone away. Can he hold onto his joy—and his friendships—in the face of heartache and prejudice?
Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American writer, interfaith activist, and cultural-sensitivity trainer and is the author of the early-reader Yasmin series and A Thousand Questions. She resides in Houston, Texas, with her family.