Hot Best Seller

Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero

Availability: Ready to download

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 hi 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?


Compare

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 hi 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?

30 review for Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero

  1. 4 out of 5

    JoyAnn

    Every once in a while you finish a book where the characters feel so real, you feel many emotions along with the main character, and you gain a new perspective and more empathy than you had before. This is one of those books. The characterization was very well done as all of the characters felt real and dimensional. This is an important story and time for this story. So we’ll done. Will definitely be recommending.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathie

    Thank you to #Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book. Wow. I really enjoy the author's writing, and the subject matter of this story intrigued me because of the huge impact 9/11 played on the lives of those of us who vividly remember that day and its aftermath. As a white Canadian my perspective is extremely different from that of the author, so I picked up this book first to learn from it. I also wanted to see how a young Muslim teen today might experience the 20th anniversary and Thank you to #Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book. Wow. I really enjoy the author's writing, and the subject matter of this story intrigued me because of the huge impact 9/11 played on the lives of those of us who vividly remember that day and its aftermath. As a white Canadian my perspective is extremely different from that of the author, so I picked up this book first to learn from it. I also wanted to see how a young Muslim teen today might experience the 20th anniversary and better understand the event's long-term ramifications. This book takes place in the community of Frey in September 2021. Yusuf has lived here his whole life, where there is a small but dedicated Muslim population. Yusuf is excited to start school and finally join the robotics club as he dreams of making it to the Texas Robotics Competition. But the school year begins with racist anonymous notes in Yusuf's locker. As the 20th anniversary of September 11th approaches, the targeted attacks move beyond the school halls and out in the community. Yusuf and his friends want to focus their energy on building a robot for the competition, but with townspeople protesting the building of a new mosque and a resurgence of hate sparked by old anger, Yusuf can't avoid what's going on around him. His uncle also gives Yusuf the journal he kept during 9/11, which helps Yusuf understand his mom's present-day feelings in a new way. This story is powerful, timely, eye-opening, and would make an excellent addition to a middle school classroom or library. I'd love to see educators using it this year to examine the historical significance of September 11th and how relevant it is today.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Richie Partington

    Richie’s Picks: YUSUF AZEEM IS NOT A HERO by Saadia Faruqi, HarperCollins/QuillTree, September 2021, 368p., ISBN: 978-0-06-294325-5 “Imagine there’s no countries It isn’t hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion, too” -- John Lennon (1971) “Rather than exemplify the nation’s highest values, the official response to 9/11 unleashed some of its worst qualities: deception, brutality, arrogance, ignorance, delusion, overreach and carelessness...The betrayal of America’s professed principles wa Richie’s Picks: YUSUF AZEEM IS NOT A HERO by Saadia Faruqi, HarperCollins/QuillTree, September 2021, 368p., ISBN: 978-0-06-294325-5 “Imagine there’s no countries It isn’t hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion, too” -- John Lennon (1971) “Rather than exemplify the nation’s highest values, the official response to 9/11 unleashed some of its worst qualities: deception, brutality, arrogance, ignorance, delusion, overreach and carelessness...The betrayal of America’s professed principles was the friendly fire of the war on terror...In the name of counterterrorism, security [was] politicized, savagery legalized and patriotism weaponized...By 2004, when the 9/11 Commission urged America to ‘engage in the struggle of ideas,’ it was already too late; the Justice Department’s initial torture memos were already signed, the Abu Ghraib images had already eviscerated U.S. claims to moral authority. And it has lasted long. The latest works on the legacy of 9/11 show how war-on-terror tactics were turned on religious groups, immigrants, and protesters in the United States. The war on terror came home, and it walked in like it owned the place.” -- Carlos Lozada in The Washington Post, “9/11 was a test. The books of the last two decades show how America failed.” (9/3/2021) “Miss Terrance was ready for a discussion in social studies class. She stood with hands on her hips, legs spread slightly apart so that they looked like two tall buildings teetering on the spindly foundations of her heels. ‘All right, everyone saw the words on the warehouse outside school this morning, so let’s talk about it and get it off our chests before we work on today’s lessons. Okay?’ Nobody said anything. Yusuf’s throat was dry. Uncle Rahman’s journal entry about the Twin Towers tumbling down in a pile of ash and stone echoed in his mind. Did anyone even know what ‘Never Forget’ really meant? Had anyone ever really thought about it, the way he hadn’t been able to stop thinking all night long? ‘We learned about it in fifth grade,’ Madison finally said. ‘It was a bunch of terrorist attacks a long time ago, when my mom was a teenager.’ ‘Yes,’ said Miss Terrance, writing 9/11 on the whiteboard with a bright red Expo marker. Then she wrote Never Forget under it. A boy with wispy red hair raised his hand. ‘It was Arab terrorists. Like him.’ Yusuf felt the hair on his neck rise in protest. ‘Like me?’ he squeaked. Why did people think all Muslims were Arab? His family was from South Asia, not that anyone in the class cared. Miss Terrance scowled heavily. ‘How old do you think Yusuf Azeems is, fifty? How could he have anything to do with 9/11?’ There was an awkward laughter, but the red-haired boy persisted. ‘It was his folks. They said that on the news last night.’ Miss Terrance’s scowl got even darker. ‘Okay, seems like you kids need some education. I don’t want anyone pointing fingers at one of their classmates. She turned away and wrote on the whiteboard: ASSIGNMENT!!! ‘I want you to research 9/11 and present a report two weeks from now. And it better be good, because you’ll be reading it in front of the class.” Yusuf Azeem is able to write off the rude note that he finds in his locker on his first day of middle school (You suck). But the second day’s note (Go home) makes it clear to him and to readers that it's not a random incident. Growing up in a small town between Dallas and Houston, Yusuf is about to turn twelve as he begins sixth grade at Frey Middle School in the fall of 2021 (Right now!). Yusuf’s focus as he starts the school year is on the team that he and his friend Danial hope to put together to enter the Texas Robotics Competition. But Yusuf’s and Danial’s families are part of the community’s growing Muslim population, and this is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. As 9/11/21 approaches, the Islamophobia aimed at Yusuf and Danial escalates into a vicious movement that affects the town’s entire Muslim community and threatens the modest mosque it is constructing. Yusuf’s mother’s younger brother, Uncle Rahman, was exactly Yusuf’s age when 9/11 occurred. One evening, he slips Yusuf the journal he, himself, filled over the course of that miserable 2001-2002 school year. The story of Yusuf’s struggles with the notes in his locker and the daily bullying in the classrooms, hallways, and even in town, is interspersed with passages from Uncle Rahman’s journal from twenty years ago. Talk about the same old-same old! Message in the locker, Day 3: “We hate you.” Yusuf is an admirable, memorable, and relatable character. YUSUF AZEEM IS NOT A HERO is gripping and, unfortunately, all-too-believable. Next weekend, in addition to remembering the brave first responders who suffered and died on 9/11, I will be thinking of American Muslims, born in the U.S. but not treated like it, For two decades, they have suffered insults, been discriminated against, surveilled, pushed to become FBI informants, or even attacked and killed. Richie Partington, MLIS Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com https://www.facebook.com/richiespicks/ https://twitter.com/richiespicks [email protected]

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sacha

    Thanks to NetGalley and Quill Tree Books for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. Here are my thoughts: 4 stars Yusuf is an 11 (going on 12 by the novel's conclusion) year old fellow living in Texas with his parents and younger sister, and he is busy learning some very difficult life lessons from the first to last page. He's one to root for and that's a good thing; he needs the support! When the novel begins, Yusuf is starting the school year and noticing changes with his Thanks to NetGalley and Quill Tree Books for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. Here are my thoughts: 4 stars Yusuf is an 11 (going on 12 by the novel's conclusion) year old fellow living in Texas with his parents and younger sister, and he is busy learning some very difficult life lessons from the first to last page. He's one to root for and that's a good thing; he needs the support! When the novel begins, Yusuf is starting the school year and noticing changes with his friends, social expectations, and the - for him - abrupt appearance of Islamophobia in his small town. For Yusuf, this is most pronounced when he starts finding racist notes in his locker at school, but it carries over into some horrifying bullying by not only one primary kid but also a whole group of appalling adults. Faruqi provides ample instances of different kinds of bullying as well as different reactions to it, and this is a strength of the novel overall. The target audience will be easily able to locate helpful and applicable material for their own experiences and certainly build sympathy or empathy as a result. Yusuf's connections to his culture and religion are nicely developed. The Muslim community in this town is small but tight, and much like there are many different kinds of/reactions to bullying at school, there are many different trials for the adults (as well as responses to them). Faruqi again provides an array of characters who reflect different comfort levels and styles of intervention. The depiction is age appropriate and realistic, so readers get insight into how both children and adults can behave badly and correct that behavior in their communities. On top of all of the social and personal turmoil, Yusuf deals with typical middle school business, works toward a major competition with his robotics club (which I really want to join), and reads passages from the journal his uncle wrote when he was around Yusuf's age...during 9/11. There is a lot happening! Overall I really enjoyed this novel (my second by this author) and look forward to more. I do feel like this runs a bit didactic at times, and there are some details/relationships that could be more developed. It would be nice to see a character or two or an incident or two come out and that remaining attention go to that aforementioned expansion. I will recommend this to students and to those looking for a generally solid middle grade effort.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    A very timely middle grade release, particularly in terms of delving into the impact of 9/11 for young readers who live in a world shaped by it but have no memories of the day itself and might not have even been given specific explanation of that time period, as well as detailing the post-9/11 experience for Muslims in the US. I really appreciated the well-rounded characters, including Yusuf, but also his pessimistic/realist best friend Danial; Yusuf's parents who have different outlooks and str A very timely middle grade release, particularly in terms of delving into the impact of 9/11 for young readers who live in a world shaped by it but have no memories of the day itself and might not have even been given specific explanation of that time period, as well as detailing the post-9/11 experience for Muslims in the US. I really appreciated the well-rounded characters, including Yusuf, but also his pessimistic/realist best friend Danial; Yusuf's parents who have different outlooks and strategies illuminated by their differing backgrounds and whose viewpoints are each at times justified by the events of the story; new friend Jared; and even minor characters like Sameena Aunty. Yusuf's world also seemed very full, worries over his little sister's asthma, work at his father's dollar store, and his robotics team dreams coexisting with experiences of racism and major questions about world events. I did find that the placement of the bomb incident closer to the end of the book disrupted the pacing a little, and that the Holocaust references felt a little shoehorned. The integration of COVID mentions into the story also felt a little odd, although I understand why - on the one hand, it would feel disingenuous to write a story taking place specifically in fall 2021 and not add mentions of such a significant event, but on the other hand, the pandemic is still very much a current event in fall 2021, so a story where it's something which happened rather than something which is happening felt off. However, this is overall a well-written book with an important story to tell which will appeal to plenty of realistic fiction lovers, perhaps to read alongside Senzai's Shooting Kabul. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Thomas

    Yusuf has spent his whole life in small town Frey, TX right outside of Houston.Yusuf was starting 6th grade and beginning to realize middle school was not so easy - horrible notes were getting left in his locker every day; “Go home. We hate you.” It’s the 20th year anniversary of 9/11 and the hatred for Muslims in his small town is coming out more than ever from this group called “Patriot Sons”. Horrible things start happening and even more, his family becomes a target. Trying not to “be the her Yusuf has spent his whole life in small town Frey, TX right outside of Houston.Yusuf was starting 6th grade and beginning to realize middle school was not so easy - horrible notes were getting left in his locker every day; “Go home. We hate you.” It’s the 20th year anniversary of 9/11 and the hatred for Muslims in his small town is coming out more than ever from this group called “Patriot Sons”. Horrible things start happening and even more, his family becomes a target. Trying not to “be the hero” but also standing up for what he believes in shows some major courage in Yusuf and his friends. Yusuf is gearing up for the first ever TRC competition and finds himself in a handcuffed position due to the son of of these Patriot Sons claiming he had a bomb. Yusuf is having to learn to stand tall. Be above the negativity, the pessimism, the hate, and be a leader for his TRC team and all of those looking at his next move. 🤖 I LOVED this story. The true way to build empathy an understanding of others - providing a safe space to discuss all involved (and the backstory of the true events this was based around).. To me, this reflects so much the mantra “see something, say something” - Yusuf starts to stand up for what he knows needs to be done without showing fear. 🤖 Out September 7, and an absolute must read. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 CW: racism, racist acts, Islamophobia, bullying.

  7. 5 out of 5

    NN Aziz

    Thank you Edelweiss for the advanced copy. Don't listen to me about whether this was a good book or not. My litmus test is my 13-year-old daughter, an avid reader in her own right, but also quite picky about her chosen reads. So when I found her secretly reading over my shoulder, absorbed in this exceptional middle grades book, I knew this was a winner. Of course, without her affirmation, this refreshing story about a young Muslim boy who is forced to come face-to-face with reality when the town c Thank you Edelweiss for the advanced copy. Don't listen to me about whether this was a good book or not. My litmus test is my 13-year-old daughter, an avid reader in her own right, but also quite picky about her chosen reads. So when I found her secretly reading over my shoulder, absorbed in this exceptional middle grades book, I knew this was a winner. Of course, without her affirmation, this refreshing story about a young Muslim boy who is forced to come face-to-face with reality when the town commemorates the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, is an exceptional read. Even for people who don't usually read middle grades novels, Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero deals with important and extremely relevant issues. Saadia Faruqi hits this one out of the park with this unputdownable book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Mizerny

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the electronic ARC. Even though it has been 20 years since 9/11, Yusuf's story shows that many of the Islamaphobic feelings in America are still present today. Yusuf faces both micro and macro aggressions on a regular basis and tries to figure out how to deal with them. For today's students, this is historical fiction and will provide some insight into why adults around them find this day so important to our history. Another great middle great read fro Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the electronic ARC. Even though it has been 20 years since 9/11, Yusuf's story shows that many of the Islamaphobic feelings in America are still present today. Yusuf faces both micro and macro aggressions on a regular basis and tries to figure out how to deal with them. For today's students, this is historical fiction and will provide some insight into why adults around them find this day so important to our history. Another great middle great read from Saadia Faurqi.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Reem Faruqi

    Loved this powerful and unapologetic Muslim book! It highlights real emotion, an authentic and genuine Muslim family, kind neighbors, and an unforgettable middle school experience! This story is much needed and highlights a Muslim middle schoolers experience in a modern time. It deals with themes of discrimination and racism, and standing up for who you are no matter what. The first line got my attention right away.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)

    Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero is a poignant look at the impact of 9/11 on Muslim communities in America. This book encourages self-examination and delves into ways to deal with prejudice around us. Alternating between past (2001) and present (2021), with mentions of the COVID-19 pandemic, this realistic middle grade book is perfect for helping kids make sense of 9/11. Bonus points for healthy male friendships and a STEM-loving protagonist. Read my full review on my blog Many thanks to the publisher fo Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero is a poignant look at the impact of 9/11 on Muslim communities in America. This book encourages self-examination and delves into ways to deal with prejudice around us. Alternating between past (2001) and present (2021), with mentions of the COVID-19 pandemic, this realistic middle grade book is perfect for helping kids make sense of 9/11. Bonus points for healthy male friendships and a STEM-loving protagonist. Read my full review on my blog Many thanks to the publisher for a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kirin

    It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since the tragedy of September 11, and this 368 page upper middle grades novel is very relatable to kids about to experience the anniversary and to us adults that were in high school/college when the event occurred. The book is very contemporary mentioning Covid-19 and grappling with the effects of the attacks, the war, the Patriot Act, and Islamophobia, both at the time of the terrorist attacks and now, 20 years later. The characters are unapologe It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since the tragedy of September 11, and this 368 page upper middle grades novel is very relatable to kids about to experience the anniversary and to us adults that were in high school/college when the event occurred. The book is very contemporary mentioning Covid-19 and grappling with the effects of the attacks, the war, the Patriot Act, and Islamophobia, both at the time of the terrorist attacks and now, 20 years later. The characters are unapologetically Muslim, and doctrine, practice, culture, and rebellion are all included in a book that takes a bit of time to get going, but then holds you close and makes the characters feel like old friends who sat around the table telling you their story. The middle school characters present in a lot of shades of gray as they learn about themselves, their place, and begin to understand those around them. There isn't really a lot of resolution in the book, it is more a snap shot of life and the stresses that Muslim communities in the US feel and have felt for the last two decades. Possible concerns: a group of Muslim kids dress as Santa Clause as they sneak out to trick-or-treat, the kids discuss eating halal or not and just not telling their parents as well as discussing the requirements and purpose of hijab, an Uncle has a girlfriend and is off to meet her parents, and a Muslim boy wears an earring. All pretty tame, and really pretty judgement free, alhumdulillah. SYNOPSIS: Yusuf Azeem is excited to be starting middle school, but when he swings open his brand new locker and finds a note saying, "You suck," he is rattled. Surely the note was not meant for him, he doesn't have any enemies. He is the son of the beloved owner of the local dollar store in tiny Frey, Texas. He loves robotics and dreams of being on the middle school robotics team and winning the Texas Robotics Competition. But the next day there is a note again. Best friend Danial is convinced middle school is going to be awful, but ever optimistic Yusuf is not ready to concede, although he really doesn't want to be a hero either. However, with the 20th anniversary of September 11th approaching, and the appearance of a group calling themselves The Patriot Sons, life is getting very tense for the Muslim families, and their friends, in this small Southern Town. Yusuf and his friends gather at robotics club and at the Mosque the parents are building themselves. They sort through their differences, they work on their friendships and they start to find their own thoughts and opinions. Along the way Yusuf is given his uncle's diary that was written during the 9/11 attacks and the first hand account allows Yusuf to broaden his view of this historical event, combined with him understanding his Sunday school lessons and seeing himself and others bullied, really forces Yusuf to decide who he wants to be, and if in fact he can avoid being a hero. On the surface there is discussion of xenophobia, being a Muslim in America, and interfaith cooperation, but there is also some very frightening and real-life based inspiration of vandalism, and imprisonment of a child that play heavily on the storyline. WHY I LIKE IT: I love the relationship of Yusuf and his much younger sister. She is in awe of her big brother, and he is absolutely adorable with her, whether it is babysitting her dollies or programming her unicorn games, it is precious. I also love the diversity within the Muslim families in Frey. There are hijabis and non hijabis, halal only and eat outside meat folk, there are very chill and very nosey aunties, but they all stick together, there aren't that many of them and I love it. Similarly, the non Muslim side characters also are not a monolith, they grow and change and have their own lines that need to be drawn within families. The town rallies and the robot thread is strong, but I didn't feel like the book had a storyline and plot and resolution, it just kind of shows the characters, and gives a glimpse in to their lives, so I was left with a lot of questions: how was the little sister's health, what happened to the Patriot Sons, did the mayor finally stand up to them, did the uncle get married, where was Cameron's mom, did Jared's mom stay home or did she just get a leave for Thanksgiving, did Jared's grandma ever get involved? The character I struggled the most with was the mom. She is an American born daughter of immigrants, she lived through the attacks in America, she is competent and articulate, but I feel like she doesn't quite radiate the strength I wanted her to have. I wanted to love her, and I wanted to be inspired by her and her frustrations, but she seemed to just fade in most instances. The dad is a bit underdeveloped too, he has a shop, but few customers, I'm kind of worried about the financial security of the family, and then takes weird gifts to the neighboring church on Christmas Eve. I didn't understand why so many people didn't want to talk about their 9/11 experience. I get that everyone deals and views things differently, but I have never really found people hesitant to talk about the attacks and the aftermath. I was at the University of Utah studying Mass Communication on that day, I've interviewed a lot of people over the years regarding what they experienced, and talked to my kids and had others talk to my kids, no one has ever once shown hesitancy, so I initially struggled with the premise that Yusuf didn't know what he wasn't supposed to forget and why his family kept trying to avoid talking about the changes of life before and life after. The book does a good job of articulating how painful the loss of life was for all of humanity and showing that Muslims were both grieving the deaths and destruction, while also having to defend their separation from those that committed the atrocities. I do love that Sunday school lessons, and elder advice, and khutbahs are a part of the tools given to Yusuf to sort through his world and decision making processes. I like that he pushes back and doesn't just accept everything thrown at him. Even the nosey harsh aunties he finds connection with and tries to see their experiences, it really is impressive. FLAGS: It talks about the death tolls and the gut wrenching loss of life. There is also bullying, and false imprisonment, and a crime with a gun that is mentioned. There is a hijab pulled off, vandalism of a Muslim owned store, there are threats and pushing. Yusuf's uncle is out of town and his mom and grandma are bickering that he is meeting his girlfriend's parents, so it isn't clear if it is all arranged, or everyone is on board or if it is something more or less than what it is. Cameron has an earring. Danial doesn't eat outside meat, but really wants too. The kids don't lie necessarily, but they sneak out in Santa Clause costumes to trick or treat on Halloween after commenting that they shouldn't and don't celebrate the holiday. Yusuf's dad knows Christmas carols and discusses his favorites at interfaith exchanges, the highly religious, "Silent Night" is among them. A cat also goes missing, an incident from the diary, and then is placed on the doorstep dead. TOOLS FOR LEADING THE DISCUSSION: I think, like with other 9/11 books I've done as book club selections, just sharing my experience and asking any other teachers to chime in with theirs is enough to take fiction out from the pages and make it real for the kids. They then ask questions, connect it to the text and to their history lessons and the story resonates with the historical event. I think this book could work for a middle school book club and provide a lot, aside from the Islamophobia to discuss, I think it would in fact be a great book to start the school year off with to get to know the kids and how they view the world.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Hottinger

    #YusufAzeemIsNotAHero by @SaadiaFaruqi brings history and current times together, as the #9/11 anniversary brings a time of remembering to Yusuf’s town, but also hatred and prejudice. Will Yusuf’s uncle’s journal from this time help Yusuf with his friends and classmates? Excellent #middlegradebook! Thank you for sharing w/ #bookposse! @quilltreebooks @harperchildrens

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Yusuf and his family live in the small Texas town of Frey where his father runs the A to Z Dollar Store and his mother does freelance writing from her new office in the garage. Yusuf and his best friend Danial are ready to ROCK 2021. Middle school has not only lockers and Chrome Books, but a robotics club that the boys have been looking forward to for years. However, Yusuf finds a progression of nasty notes in his locker that make him worry about how others percei E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Yusuf and his family live in the small Texas town of Frey where his father runs the A to Z Dollar Store and his mother does freelance writing from her new office in the garage. Yusuf and his best friend Danial are ready to ROCK 2021. Middle school has not only lockers and Chrome Books, but a robotics club that the boys have been looking forward to for years. However, Yusuf finds a progression of nasty notes in his locker that make him worry about how others perceive him. There's a lot of talk about the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 Twin Towers attacks, and anti-Muslim feelings in the town are running high. This causes problems for the Muslim community when Mr. Grant challenges the permits for the mosque that they are building just outside town, and his son, Ethan, continually makes inappropriate remarks in school. Yusuf's father once stood up to an armed man who tried to rob his store, but Yusuf doesn't think that he is brave enough to stand up to anyone. It helps a little that his Uncle Rahman has given Yusuf the journals that he kept as a high schooler in 2001, and Yusuf is able to see a first hand account of the events occurring after 9/11, but it's still a complicated matter, and Yusuf is saddened to see how little has changed in the intervening 20 years. He and Danial are on the robotic team, but have to negotiate with their parents to allow them to go, since their Sunday school is being held on the same day as robotics practice. Yusuf has befriended Mr. Grant's nephew, Jared, who seems nice but is swayed by his family's opinions. Jared's grandmother is a frequent customer at the A to Z store, and a believer that "You can only make enemies with strangers". When the racial tensions mount and there is a town meeting about the permits, Yusuf finds out that while most of the town supports the building of another house of worship, a hate group, the Patriot Sons, is determined to keep Frey free of "outsiders". When one of Yusuf's computer projects gets him unwanted attention at school, will he ever feel at home in Frey again? Strengths: I love that Yusuf and Danial are excited for middle school and looking forward to things like robotics club. The low attendance and general "failure to thrive" of the club is realistically portrayed, and I was glad to see that they could turn it around. Having the uncle's journal is both realistic and informative; we may see more books based on actual journals, such as Bermudez's Big Apple Diaries. The father's store was fascinating, and I'd love to see other middle grade books incorporate this type of parental job, since it is no doubt one that consumes a lot of family time. The depiction of the small town relationships was interesting, and there's a good civics lesson in the town meeting. There is a good combination of a lot of interesting things going on in the book, and it's fascinating to see Yusuf's ordinary life but also how it is impacted by the legacy of 9/11. Weaknesses: I have trouble spelling the name "Daniel" as it is, so reading it with this alternative spelling was hard! The negative notes were so important at the beginning of the book that I was a little surprised at how they were handled in the end. I was just expecting something different. What I really think: Definitely purchasing, and think that reading this along with Cerra's Just a Drop of Water (set in 2001) would be interesting.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kristine Kowalski

    Thank you to NetGalley, Harper Collins, and Quill Tree for an advanced e-ARC of this book to review. I always adore Saadia Faruqi's writing, and the characters she so beautifully brings to life. Yusuf Azeem is a true gem, and his story, "Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero" is fantastically done. This story follows Yusuf as he takes on the daunting challenge of starting middle school, which he's really excited about - especially the prospect of joining a robotics club and maybe being able to meet new frien Thank you to NetGalley, Harper Collins, and Quill Tree for an advanced e-ARC of this book to review. I always adore Saadia Faruqi's writing, and the characters she so beautifully brings to life. Yusuf Azeem is a true gem, and his story, "Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero" is fantastically done. This story follows Yusuf as he takes on the daunting challenge of starting middle school, which he's really excited about - especially the prospect of joining a robotics club and maybe being able to meet new friends who love building/creating and even one day entering competitions with their designs. But his back-to-school moment of navigating new friendships and space is also coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. He has heard about this mostly as a historical event, but as he sees "Never Forget" type signage around, he realizes the ways it still lives on: in memory, in hurt, in culture, and especially in anti-Muslim sentiment. (Unsurprisingly, Yusuf's school has seemingly little ability to differentiate between regular ol' middle school bullying/awkwardness/growing pains and hateful harassment. Ugh.) Reading this book a week before the 20th anniversary as the dates sped ahead on the page is a surreal feeling. Like Yusuf, I was around years old and a few days into middle school on 9/11/2001. I also can't believe that was (both) only/already 20 years ago, but to Yusuf, it doesn't feel real. When Yusuf's uncle gives him his own sixth grade journal writings from that time, he begins to understand what it was like to experience all the confusion, hurt, tensions and hatred, particularly as a young Muslim boy, right after the attacks - and he can draw parallels that are showing up in modern day in his own Texan hometown. Yusuf gets harassing notes in his locker, and he hears those horrible "go back to your country" taunts, but isn't sure about why he's a target or what he can do about them. His uncle's journals, paired with a school research project into 9/11, offer him a broader understanding, and prompts him to talk to the adults in his life about issues he maybe wouldn't otherwise bring up. Importantly, he starts to balance individual experiences (like his, his uncle's, his father's...) with collective experiences, like Muslim experience, shared U.S. memories, etc. Yusuf also reflects deeply on his religion, which he holds close, and sees so much community and responsibility there. While these are complex and heavy topics, this story combines the individual and collective fabulously for younger readers - so we see Yusuf as a rounded and multi-dimensional character who cares deeply about a hundred varying things, like his family, robotics club, friends, community, religion, academics - all at once.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Josephine Sorrell

    It has been 20 years since our country was attacked and sadly prejudices and bullying are alive today against Muslims living in America and really anyone who is different. Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life growing up in the small town of Frey, Texas. His passion is electronics and the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can help his school win. Only, this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth annive It has been 20 years since our country was attacked and sadly prejudices and bullying are alive today against Muslims living in America and really anyone who is different. Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life growing up in the small town of Frey, Texas. His passion is electronics and the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can help his school 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. The small town has proudly displayed "Never Forget" banners everywhere. But there is a hostile group of townspeople who want the established and respected by most, Muslim families, out and gone. This takes many forms of hate. An organized Protest group called The Patriot Sons, hurtful messages slipped into Yusuf’s locker, the sabotage attempts of the building of a Mosque, an incident where a student hijab is snatched from her head, and the climaxing event involving the backpack. It is unbelievable that anger from two decades ago hasn't gone away. Can Yusuf hold onto his joy-and his friendships-in the face of such heartache and prejudice? This is an important story and also important to middle school readers a well paced and interesting book. Early on Yusuf gets a true insight into 9/11 when Uncle Rahman realizes the schools in Texas simply touch on the event in the classroom. He gives Yusuf his journal he wrote during the attack and events following. The journal entries are strategically, placed throughout the story written in Italic print. This book is so well multifaceted as we view the rich home life and customs of Muslum families, the raciest and bullies that are students and sadly the behavior is learned from parents and then there us the exciting STEM component of the robotics competition. The events are all wrapped up in the very real drama of middle school life. This book will evoke all kinds of emotions for the reader.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Zainab

    Historical incidents have shaped the world. Foreign policies have been formed on them, wars have been started, people have been displaced and innocents have felt the impact. 9/11 is one such incident. “Yusuf Azeem is not a Hero” is the new middle grade read by Saadia Faruqi. Welcome to Frey, Texas home to twelve-year-old Yusuf Azeem, a Pakistani-American. Yusuf’s mother is a freelance writer, his father, the small-town hero, owns the local dollar store. Yusuf is excited for middle school, Grade 6 an Historical incidents have shaped the world. Foreign policies have been formed on them, wars have been started, people have been displaced and innocents have felt the impact. 9/11 is one such incident. “Yusuf Azeem is not a Hero” is the new middle grade read by Saadia Faruqi. Welcome to Frey, Texas home to twelve-year-old Yusuf Azeem, a Pakistani-American. Yusuf’s mother is a freelance writer, his father, the small-town hero, owns the local dollar store. Yusuf is excited for middle school, Grade 6 and looking forward to the Lego Robotics competition. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11. On the first day of school, Yusuf finds racist notes in his lockers; as the story progresses, we see how the local mosque is facing roadblocks from being built, xenophobia and Islamophobia are very much alive. While navigating all this, Yusuf’s uncle gives him his journal which talks about his personal experiences of middle school during 9/11. Yusuf reads about the firsthand impact 9/11 had on children. This book is unapologetically Muslim!! Ms. Faruqi shows her readers different shades of Muslims; she shows their strength as a community, the confusion felt by children for being ostracized for an incident that took place before their birth. I liked how we see an emphasis on STEM (robotics club and coding); understanding of parent children relationship; discussion on sibling relationship. How humanity has the power to unite and overcome their differences and become allies for each other is narrated powerfully. The win of love over hate. (My only concerns (slightly) were over the characterization of the Sunday school teacher and Yusuf’s friend Danial.) "Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero" a great read on the repercussions felt by the incident of 9/11 on Muslims communities. (Thank you to @netgalley and @harpercollins for an EARC in exchange for an honest review.)

  17. 4 out of 5

    TheNextGenLibrarian

    “Then people must unite against hatred and choose love.” 🤖 Yusuf Azeem spent his whole life in Frey, TX, a small town outside of Houston. Heading into middle school the only worry Yusuf has is creating a robotics team with his friends to be able to go to the state competition. But this year isn’t going like he planned. It’s the 20 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the Twin Towers and the hatred against Muslims that was spawned long ago finds a resurgence leading up to the date. “Never “Then people must unite against hatred and choose love.” 🤖 Yusuf Azeem spent his whole life in Frey, TX, a small town outside of Houston. Heading into middle school the only worry Yusuf has is creating a robotics team with his friends to be able to go to the state competition. But this year isn’t going like he planned. It’s the 20 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the Twin Towers and the hatred against Muslims that was spawned long ago finds a resurgence leading up to the date. “Never Forget” banners and the creation of a new town group called the Patriot Sons incites hatred towards Yusuf, his best friend Danial, and their entire community. When Yusuf’s uncle sees him struggling to keep his joy, he gives him the journal he kept when the 9/11 attacks occurred. Will Yusuf be able to rise above the hatred, prejudices, racism and stereotypes to show that love and kindness are the way we should live? 🤖 This MG book hit really close to home for a couple reasons. I was Amma’s age when 9/11 happened and I remember seeing the hatred and violent acts against the Muslim community on the news. I would like to say things have gotten better in our society, but the past few years have made that difficult. As a robotics coach in small Texas town I also connected with the educators in the story. Many times we know when bullying occurs but without proof/witnesses it’s hard to uphold punishments. I loved how the administration handles the incident in the novel. I wish I could have every child in my district read this book now more than ever. It will be an amazing read aloud. TY Netgalley for the ARC. This book releases on September 7. Saadia, thank you so much for suggesting I read your latest book—it’s my favorite so far! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ CW: racism, racist acts, Islamophobia

  18. 4 out of 5

    J.D. Holman

    Content warning: Suspicious death of a pet. It's pretty telegraphed, so I was bracing for it, but it's still upsetting. I really like the authenticity of Faruqi's characters, in this and her other works. Yusuf, his family, his friends, and the prominent adults in his life are complex and clearly have hopes and dreams. Bonus points for a friendly police officer and a helpful librarian who offers insight into a research topic. This book is *very* current; set around the time of the 20th anniversary Content warning: Suspicious death of a pet. It's pretty telegraphed, so I was bracing for it, but it's still upsetting. I really like the authenticity of Faruqi's characters, in this and her other works. Yusuf, his family, his friends, and the prominent adults in his life are complex and clearly have hopes and dreams. Bonus points for a friendly police officer and a helpful librarian who offers insight into a research topic. This book is *very* current; set around the time of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, it basically took place while I was reading it. (In a slightly alternative universe, where covid stayed in 2020.) There is a militant group of white supremacists that have stepped up their intolerance of the Muslims in the town around the anniversary. This leads Yusuf to engage in introspection and also learn more about what happened back then, particularly through his uncle's journal. The journey of the robotics team makes parts of this a fun, age-appropriate read that isn't just about dealing with bigots and bullies. As I'm finishing this during Banned Books Week, I would like to say that I could see this book being challenged for the negative portrayal of white bigots and the positive portrayal of Muslims/minorities. That's trendy these days. But hopefully those who read this can gain some empathy to how the Muslim community felt post-9/11 when so many people blamed innocents.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nelda Brangwin

    Living in a small Texas town, Yusef, who has just entered middle school, knows nothing about the events of 9/11/ 2001. On the twentieth anniversary of that horrid day, the community is planning a commemorative event. Yusef, whose father owns a store and seems to be accepted by the community as are the other Muslims in the area. Things are changing, thanks to the conservative group, The Patriots Sons. While small in number their vocal hatred spews forth. Upset that the Islamic community is buildi Living in a small Texas town, Yusef, who has just entered middle school, knows nothing about the events of 9/11/ 2001. On the twentieth anniversary of that horrid day, the community is planning a commemorative event. Yusef, whose father owns a store and seems to be accepted by the community as are the other Muslims in the area. Things are changing, thanks to the conservative group, The Patriots Sons. While small in number their vocal hatred spews forth. Upset that the Islamic community is building a new mosque, the Patriot Sons are determined to stop the building process. Yusef is caught in the middle. He doesn’t want to bring attention to his family, but someone must stand up to the bullies. As the story unfolds, he’s reading the journal of his uncle, a middle-schooler at the time. Reading this helps convince Yusef, he must stand up to the school bully. While the ending seemed too happy, with the Christian church next to the new mosque coming over to help, the power of this book comes in seeing people stand up for themselves and the power in looking for what has caused hatred, and learning to understand that people might be swayed by the loud hatred, but the strength of those being bullies by returning love instead of hate, can also influence people.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katie Reilley

    Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing an early copy with #bookexpedition. Yusuf Azeem has lived in the small town of Frey, Texas his whole life. This year brings about some big changes: he’s starting middle school, and he finally has a chance to join the robotics team and participate in the regional competition. But not all the changes are positive. It’s the 20th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11, and Yusuf finds hate notes in his locker, and his dad’s store is vandalized. His Musli Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing an early copy with #bookexpedition. Yusuf Azeem has lived in the small town of Frey, Texas his whole life. This year brings about some big changes: he’s starting middle school, and he finally has a chance to join the robotics team and participate in the regional competition. But not all the changes are positive. It’s the 20th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11, and Yusuf finds hate notes in his locker, and his dad’s store is vandalized. His Muslim family and friends are being targeted by a hateful group called the Patriot Sons who are protesting the new mosque, and everyone in his community is on edge. After receiving a journal from his uncle, who was a teen when the 9/11 attacks occurred, Yusuf has a better upstanding of the Islamophobia and hate that followed the attacks. Determined to stand up for himself and his community, Yusuf’s bravery and big heart will open discussions for readers who’ll ask: How much has really changed in 20 years? With themes of friendship, community, courage, justice, hope, and love, this is a must read middle grade novel. Publishing in September 2021; preorder now.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa McDonald

    First off, thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the eARC of this book. Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero by Saadia Faruqi is a book that will stay with me for a while. It deals with issues such as bullying, friendship, grief, islamophobia, 9/11, and terrorism. It has been 20 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City's Twin Towers, yet anger and resentment towards Muslims are still rampant in the small town of Frey, Texas where Yusuf and his family reside. Yusuf finds hate notes in his First off, thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the eARC of this book. Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero by Saadia Faruqi is a book that will stay with me for a while. It deals with issues such as bullying, friendship, grief, islamophobia, 9/11, and terrorism. It has been 20 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City's Twin Towers, yet anger and resentment towards Muslims are still rampant in the small town of Frey, Texas where Yusuf and his family reside. Yusuf finds hate notes in his locker, he is ridiculed at school, the mosque his community is building is being challenged by a white supremacists' group called the Patriot Sons, his father's dollar store is vandalized, and more. Yusuf finds some solace in reading his uncle's journal which centers around his personal experience of 9/11, and his participation in his school's robotics competition team. After a profoundly disturbing incident at school, he feels broken. But with advice from his family and faith, he takes the path that love will win over hate. This book is a great read!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Patti Barker

    Have things really changed at all since September 11, 2001? This story... Yusuf’s story is one that hopefully will lead to many conversations about faith, family, friendships, bullying and racial discrimination. Yusuf is a Pakistani-American boy living in small town Frey, TX. He dreams of competing at the Texas Robotics Competition. What stands in the way of that dream becoming a reality is a bully at school and a group of adult bullies trying to drive Yusuf and his family, and other Muslim fami Have things really changed at all since September 11, 2001? This story... Yusuf’s story is one that hopefully will lead to many conversations about faith, family, friendships, bullying and racial discrimination. Yusuf is a Pakistani-American boy living in small town Frey, TX. He dreams of competing at the Texas Robotics Competition. What stands in the way of that dream becoming a reality is a bully at school and a group of adult bullies trying to drive Yusuf and his family, and other Muslim families out of town. When Yusuf is wrongly accused of a crime most of the town, and his family, friends snd community rally behind him. This well written and often heart wrenching story by author Saadia Faruqi, author of “A Thousand Questions” and co-author of “ A Place At The Table” has done it again, writing a story that needs to be told, that will hopefully spark discussion and lead to meaningful dialogue about how we are all more alike than we are different. This is a book that belongs in the shelves of every middle school library!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Riley

    Yusuf Azeem is a sixth grader, excited to join the middle school Lego Robotics team. He is also a Muslim in a small town during the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Right away, Yusuf has to navigate anti-Muslim bigotry and a school bully, and his uncle Rahman gives him the journal he wrote 20 years ago when he was Yusuf’s age. Yusuf learns about the lasting impact 9/11 made on his family and neighbors who lived through it in 2001, and the continued effects of 9/11 on Muslims and all Americans today. Fo Yusuf Azeem is a sixth grader, excited to join the middle school Lego Robotics team. He is also a Muslim in a small town during the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Right away, Yusuf has to navigate anti-Muslim bigotry and a school bully, and his uncle Rahman gives him the journal he wrote 20 years ago when he was Yusuf’s age. Yusuf learns about the lasting impact 9/11 made on his family and neighbors who lived through it in 2001, and the continued effects of 9/11 on Muslims and all Americans today. Fortunately for Yusuf, he has family, friends, and a community to support him through challenges no child should have to face. Saadia Faruqi has given us an important book in Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero. Students will relate to Yusuf and the power of standing up for what is right. Teachers and parents will appreciate the author’s perspective and sensitivity to difficult issues that continue to occur in our schools and our communities. Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero will be an excellent addition for middle grade classrooms and libraries. Thank you to NetGalley for the eARC to review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aya Khalil

    The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is coming up at Yusuf’s town, Frey in Texas and he can feel the tension towards him and his family/Muslim friends. He’s already worried about starting middle school and is receiving mysterious hate notes in his locker. He joins the robotic team and is determined to win at the regionals and state championship. But he and his Muslim community continue to face micro aggressions and hate. His uncle gives him a journal of when 9/11 took place and he is able to see the sim The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is coming up at Yusuf’s town, Frey in Texas and he can feel the tension towards him and his family/Muslim friends. He’s already worried about starting middle school and is receiving mysterious hate notes in his locker. He joins the robotic team and is determined to win at the regionals and state championship. But he and his Muslim community continue to face micro aggressions and hate. His uncle gives him a journal of when 9/11 took place and he is able to see the similarities of struggles they both faced. This mg is so well-written and those of us who were teenagers (like me) during 9/11 and still remember not only the horrible attacks in nyc, but the islamophobia for years to come, will especially resonate with them. It was healing read and I saw my own kids in Yusuf especially my son who loves robots. It’s a heartwarming story that’ll leave you rooting for Yusuf’s bravery and big heart.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marci

    Since the readers this novel is geared towards were not yet alive when 9/11 occurred, this story can serve both as a history lesson for them, and a reflection on the resulting attitudes that have contributed to today's too frequent nationalism, xenophobia, and hate crimes. Yusuf is a young teen, living in a Texas town, interested in robotics and determined to participate in the championships. But because it is also the "anniversary" of 9/11, he soon finds himself and his family on the receiving Since the readers this novel is geared towards were not yet alive when 9/11 occurred, this story can serve both as a history lesson for them, and a reflection on the resulting attitudes that have contributed to today's too frequent nationalism, xenophobia, and hate crimes. Yusuf is a young teen, living in a Texas town, interested in robotics and determined to participate in the championships. But because it is also the "anniversary" of 9/11, he soon finds himself and his family on the receiving end of threats, and doesn't fully understand why they become a target of hate. A beloved family member helps Yusuf gain a better understanding by sharing his personal journals from the time of the attacks, and we are all reminded of how far we still have to go. This was an emotional read, and undoubtedly will be even more so for young adult readers, but it is an important read. I received an ARC from NetGalley, to whom I am very grateful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Soup

    Very well written novel about the long-lasting legacy of 9/11, Islamophobia, and the rising tide of xenophobic nationalism. Yusuf Azeem is an 11 year old American Muslim living in the small town of Frey, Texas. He is harassed by fellow classmate Ethan Grant, who is in turn the son of a violent white nationalist who has recently moved back to town following the collapse of his marriage. While Ethan is in many ways an equal opportunity bully, he takes particular delight in harassing the small popu Very well written novel about the long-lasting legacy of 9/11, Islamophobia, and the rising tide of xenophobic nationalism. Yusuf Azeem is an 11 year old American Muslim living in the small town of Frey, Texas. He is harassed by fellow classmate Ethan Grant, who is in turn the son of a violent white nationalist who has recently moved back to town following the collapse of his marriage. While Ethan is in many ways an equal opportunity bully, he takes particular delight in harassing the small population of Muslim students at his local middle school and targets Yusuf in particular once Yusuf begins to stand up to him. Yusuf's story is accompanied by short journal entries written by his uncle 20 years before during the fall of 2001. An ongoing subplot related to the state robotics championship is inspired by the experiences of Ahmed "Clockboy" Mohamed. Themes covered include tolerance, Islamophobia, xenophobia, assimilation, morality, making choices, and living religious/moral values.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I feel like for my review I need to preface that 1. I am white and 2. I was 10 when 9/11 happened. This book is about 11 year old Yusuf whose family lives in a small town in Texas. Around the time of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 a new group called the patriot's sons forms and starts to threaten the Muslims in the town. Throughout the story, you also get small flashbacks, in the form of Yusuf's uncle's diary from the time of 9/11. There were things in the book that are difficult to read but are r I feel like for my review I need to preface that 1. I am white and 2. I was 10 when 9/11 happened. This book is about 11 year old Yusuf whose family lives in a small town in Texas. Around the time of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 a new group called the patriot's sons forms and starts to threaten the Muslims in the town. Throughout the story, you also get small flashbacks, in the form of Yusuf's uncle's diary from the time of 9/11. There were things in the book that are difficult to read but are real. As an adult now I would like to hope that the world is a better place for those around us but it is not my place to say. One thing that I found interesting with this book which makes sense for when it is written is the time setting. The book takes place from August-January of 2021/2022.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jas Asbill

    I wish that I were a writer myself so I could give justice for how I feel after reading this book. These words have forever changed me as a human and as a teacher. I’ve been so blind to so much. So much that I really shouldn’t have been blind to. In the book, it is the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and a group of people spewing hate are trying to let their stories ring louder than anyone else’s. Yusuf is receiving hate notes in his locker and his dad’s shop has been vandalized. His Uncle gives him a I wish that I were a writer myself so I could give justice for how I feel after reading this book. These words have forever changed me as a human and as a teacher. I’ve been so blind to so much. So much that I really shouldn’t have been blind to. In the book, it is the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and a group of people spewing hate are trying to let their stories ring louder than anyone else’s. Yusuf is receiving hate notes in his locker and his dad’s shop has been vandalized. His Uncle gives him a journal he kept during the time right before and after the 9/11 tragedy. We see how so much is still the same 20 years later, but Yusuf also finds hope for something different. For Love to truly conquer hate. CAWPILE Rating: 10

  29. 5 out of 5

    Israa

    Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy. Living in Houston and having participated in robotics competitions as a nerdy high schooler, I was excited to read this book. The themes of bullying, friendship, and courage really shine through. Even 20 years after 9/11, Muslims are still being subjected to Islamaphobia and hate. The messages that love overcomes hate, standing up for others, and loving one's neighbor are great topics of discussion here. Of course, those into STEM and robotics will enjoy Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy. Living in Houston and having participated in robotics competitions as a nerdy high schooler, I was excited to read this book. The themes of bullying, friendship, and courage really shine through. Even 20 years after 9/11, Muslims are still being subjected to Islamaphobia and hate. The messages that love overcomes hate, standing up for others, and loving one's neighbor are great topics of discussion here. Of course, those into STEM and robotics will enjoy the story as well. Middle school boys will also identify with the male protagonist. I appreciate that this novel is clean, and I will be purchasing a few copies for our school in Houston. While I wish something more had been done to the bully in the story, the ending was satisfying enough.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    This story takes me back to when I was seventeen in my AP Political Science class and another teacher came into the class and told us about the first tower going down. We did not believe her, but then the sirens began instantly. She returned afterwards and told us about the second tower. I remember a classmate who use to always wear her Hijab went without it for those few weeks in the beginning. She was afraid that she would be attacked. Yusuf's story gives us a window in to what the American Mu This story takes me back to when I was seventeen in my AP Political Science class and another teacher came into the class and told us about the first tower going down. We did not believe her, but then the sirens began instantly. She returned afterwards and told us about the second tower. I remember a classmate who use to always wear her Hijab went without it for those few weeks in the beginning. She was afraid that she would be attacked. Yusuf's story gives us a window in to what the American Muslims were feeling and going through in the difficult time. The journal entries adds another layer to the story showing that though many things have changed a lot of things remain the same and repeat like a cycle. It is a powerful perspective on an event that change the world forever.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...