The Unicorn Rescue Society: The Secret of the Himalayas
“…the devil? Aoodhu billah!!”
Genre: Chapter Book
Age: lower middle grade so ages 7-10 ish
Available: my amazon page- link in bio
Islamic note: there is mention of music/singing/instruments, and talk of “magic” but nothing I really saw as problematic
I genuinely didn’t expect myself to enjoy this book as much as I did! The title intrigued me, and although I haven’t read any of the Unicorn Rescue Society books, this can def be read as a stand alone!
Elliot and Uchenna land in Pakistan to look for unicorns with a magical horn. They befriend a child named Waleed who greets them and hosts them (Ibn alSabeel aspect in Islam is mentioned) and takes them to the Watcher. What they find however, are not unicorns, but Pakistan’s national animal, the Markhor.
When the evil Scmoke brothers abduct a markhor to test its “magical” horn, the group follows. They realize that through scientific chemical reactions, the horns do help with snakebites (and the origin of the bezoar is explained, which is cool for any harry potter fans out there lol). They rescue the Markhor and the Schmoke Brothers poisoned butler. After realizing they hadn’t found a unicorn, the group presents Waleed and Asim Sahib with honorary memberships to the Unicorn Rescue Society and bid them farewell!
Waleed is very much a proud Muslim, in addition to being witty and funny! There is mention of the Quran, praying, the Athan, Alhamdulilah, tasbeeh, aoodhu billah, and Ibn al Sabeel (this was my favvvve)! I also loved how Waleed pointed out so many awesome things about Pakistan (including the fact that he and so many others are educated ). The cultural aspect was so nice, talking about the beautiful Pakistani landscape and of course including yummy food like Naan❤️
I also loved the science, stem, and geography lessons in the book.
I learned so much about the Himalayas and I plan on checking out the rest of the books for my kids!
The author’s note by @henakhanbooks mentioned she was encouraged by the co-author @adam_gidwitz to put more of her religion in the book and I have to say, it was so awesome to see!!! I hope more kid lit can include more and more positive Muslim rep❤️
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