Review posted June 25, 2021.
Salaam Reads (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing), 2021. 280 pages.
Review written April 28, 2021, from a library book
Amina’s Song comes after the events of Amina’s Voice, but I hadn’t read the first book and did not feel lost during this one, so I think it's okay to read them out of order.
As Amina’s Song opens, Amina is visiting her family in Pakistan and having a wonderful time. Though she would like to fit in better and understand the language better, she’s going to especially miss her cousin Zohra, who doesn’t understand why she’d want to live in America.
But Amina has to go back to America to start seventh grade. Seventh grade has new challenges. She doesn’t have many classes with her friends. And when they have a living history project, she chooses Malala, from Pakistan, only to have her classmates react that Pakistan must be a terrible place to live, where women don’t have rights. How can she show them how beautiful Pakistan is?
Meanwhile, there’s a boy who’s becoming her friend and everybody – including Amina – wonders what it means when a boy is your friend. He’s showing her how to make digital music. And her beloved uncle back in Pakistan is very sick. Altogether, the book communicates the joys and conflicts and challenges of middle school in a lovely way.