Middle Grade is admittedly my favorite genre, and the moment I picked up this book, and opened this first page, I was truly swept away into Omar’s world and didn’t stop reading until I finished it!
Genre: MG chapter book
Available: my Amazon page- link in bio (preorder before the February release date to support the author @aishacs )
Screening: brief mention of music/instruments (I consider it super clean actually!)
Omar has been accepted to the prestigious boarding school Ghalib Academy as a scholarship student. He can’t wait to learn and play soccer, enter school clubs, and make friends. But within a few days, he realizes scholarship students aren’t allowed to join clubs. They are also obligated to do chores around the school. And the studying requirements are intense, more so than anyone else. Omar is so grateful for being accepted that he spends every second studying…but will that be enough to guarantee him a spot in the school next year? And what will Omar do when faced with classism and injustice? (Read to find out!)
Truly, I absolutely enjoyed this book SO MUCH!!! The sweet hopeful voice of Omar shone through the book and he captured my heart. His passion for astronomy and his love of soccer were well developed and his character will connect with many boy readers.
Omar’s hard work ethic at school was inspiring to see and it truly highlights the importance of education. I also LOVED the resolution and how Omar rises against the injustices!
The school and setting are based in Pakistan and there are brief urdu words, Pakistani figures, and desi food mentioned but it is a story that transcends any specific culture. I really liked that it was a universal story, as it shows that it is not just in Pakistan that these issues happen, and it truly is relatable to anyone.
Islamically, there are Arabic names, an Ameen, a Salaam, and a Maghreb prayer done at the Masjid (yay for authenticity in using the word Masjid)
This is a companion novel for Amal Unbound, but even if you haven’t read the previous book, it stands on its own.
I just can’t recommend it enough and it is truly a perfect read for this age group!