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Once Upon an Eid
Cover of Once Upon an Eid
Once Upon an Eid
Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices
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A joyous short story collection by and about Muslims, edited by New York Times bestselling author Aisha Saeed and Morris finalist S. K. Ali Once Upon an Eid is a collection of short stories that...
A joyous short story collection by and about Muslims, edited by New York Times bestselling author Aisha Saeed and Morris finalist S. K. Ali Once Upon an Eid is a collection of short stories that...
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  • A joyous short story collection by and about Muslims, edited by New York Times bestselling author Aisha Saeed and Morris finalist S. K. Ali

    Once Upon an Eid is a collection of short stories that showcases the most brilliant Muslim voices writing today, all about the most joyful holiday of the year: Eid! Eid: The short, single-syllable word conjures up a variety of feelings and memories for Muslims. Maybe it's waking up to the sound of frying samosas or the comfort of bean pie, maybe it's the pleasure of putting on a new outfit for Eid prayers, or maybe it's the gift giving and holiday parties to come that day. Whatever it may be, for those who cherish this day of celebration, the emotional responses may be summed up in another short and sweet word: joy. The anthology will also include a poem, graphic-novel chapter, and spot illustrations.
    The full list of Once Upon an Eid contributors include: G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen, Ms. Marvel), Hena Khan (Amina's Voice, Under My Hijab), N. H. Senzai (Shooting Kabul, Escape from Aleppo), Hanna Alkaf (The Weight of Our Sky), Rukhsana Khan (Big Red Lollipop), Randa Abdel-Fattah (Does My Head Look Big in This?), Ashley Franklin (Not Quite Snow White), Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (Mommy's Khimar), Candice Montgomery (Home and Away, By Any Means Necessary), Huda Al-Marashi (First Comes Marriage), Ayesha Mattu, Asmaa Hussein, and Sara Alfageeh.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Aisha Saeed is the author of Written in the Stars, which was a YALSA Quick Pick, and Amal Unbound, which was a New York Times bestseller and received starred reviews from PublishersWeekly and KirkusReviews. She is also a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. S. K. Ali is a teacher whose debut novel, Saints and Misfits, was a Morris finalist, an Entertainment Weekly Best YA Book, and a Kirkus Reviews Top 10 Teen Novel. Her second novel is Love from A to Z. Her writing on Muslim culture and life has also appeared in the Toronto Star.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 13, 2020
    This effervescent anthology, edited by Ali (Love from A to Z) and Saeed (Amal Unbound), binds together 15 short stories in a variety of formats that explore the festival of Eid. While the annual Muslim celebration is a major component, the authors also interweave deeper explorations of the Islamic faith into their tales, which combine insights on Muslim
    culture with a message on the importance of such traits as generosity and resilience. Asmaa Hussein’s “Kareem Means ‘Generous,’ ” for example, features Kareem’s discovery of the pleasure he gains from sharing his good fortune. Candice Montgomery contributes a moving narrative about 11-year-old Leila’s first experience wearing a hijab, conveying both the girl’s excitement and her mother’s anxiety over potential backlash. Leila’s closeness with family and positive interactions with classmates further exemplify fulfilling interpersonal relationships that appear throughout the book. No two stories are alike: the inclusion of a narrative in poem (“Taste,” by Hanna Alkaf) and a short graphic novel (G. Willow Wilson’s “Seraj Captures the Moon”) ensures various reading formats. Moreover, a range of diverse, multidimensional characters—among them Shia Muslim, converted Muslim, Algerian, Caribbean, and West African representation—results in a stimulating, celebratory read. Ages 8–12. Agents: John Cusick, Folio Literary Management (for Ali), and Taylor Martindale, Full Circle Literary (for Saeed).

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2020

    Gr 3-6-This heartfelt collection of Eid (both Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha) short stories, edited by Ali (Saints & Misfits) and Saeed (Amal Unbound), compiles the work of 15 #OwnVoices creators and provides beautiful, essential narratives about Muslim culture. Regardless of readers' familiarity with Eid or the Muslim faith, they will feel embraced in each and every story. The tales are artfully arranged, beginning with happy and light fare before wading into heavier, more complex topics, and ending on laugh-out-loud perfection. A graphic novel-esque intermission provides a delightful surprise. The narratives here are wonderfully diverse in setting, familial structure, race, culture, and experience. The collection not only celebrates and shares Eid, but skillfully teaches readers, addressing issues like racism and prejudice with a light but effective touch. With many varied contributors, the stories read well as a whole or individually, and many have significant appeal well beyond the target audience. VERDICT A joyous title that radiates love. This much-needed collection is recommended as a first purchase for all libraries.-Taylor Worley, Springfield P.L., OR

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from March 1, 2020
    Fifteen accomplished Muslim writers from various regions and backgrounds share Eid-themed short stories in this middle-grade collection. Stylish Hawa from Philly spends Eid in New York City with the Mandinka side of the family and learns to get along with her cousin. Kareem buys himself a new bike, then learns how to embody the meaning of his own name: "generous." Most of the young protagonists live in majority non-Muslim countries--Americans of various ethnicities in the United States, a Syrian family living in a refugee camp on a Greek island--and identity issues are sometimes in the foreground. The traditions depicted vary, but the themes of family, community, and faith permeate the volume. Whether making or buying special foods--Eid brownies, doughnuts, lontong--or taking care of younger siblings, these young heroes and heroines help make Eid special for others. The diversity within the collection is impressive, including several blended families and a recently converted one, and while the writing varies in style and quality, each story is engaging, full of emotion and thought. Particularly powerful are Jameela Thompkins-Bigelow's poem connecting present-day Eid scenes to imaginings of the early Muslims who arrived in the Americas enslaved and Hanna Alkaf's lyrical account of a Malay girl's attempt to save Eid for her family. A well-placed graphic story by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Alfageeh, who also contributes a frontispiece to each story, provides a reprieve midway through the book. This thoughtful and uplifting volume will keep readers turning pages year-round; here's to many more. (Anthology. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 15, 2020
    Grades 4-7 *Starred Review* For Muslims, there's no better time to gather with family and reflect upon the joy of giving than during Eid-ul-Fitr (which celebrates the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting) or Eid-ul-Adha (the feast of sacrifice, which is connected to the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca). Here Ali (Love from A to Z, 2019) and Saeed (Amal Unbound, 2018) have gathered a roster of #OwnVoices Muslim authors to highlight the diversity within Islam and to explore the meaning of and otherworldly feelings associated with Eid. In Ali's and Saeed's stories, Yusuf and Nadia examine the importance of traditions and of allowing them to evolve to include others. In Hanna Alkaf's story in verse, readers are introduced to Malay food and a pain so poignant it can only be quelled by forgiveness. In Seraj Captures the Moon, Sara Alfageeh (who also illustrated the stunning book cover) gives life to G. Willow Wilson's graphic story about a girl (and a donkey named Pickles) on a quest to share the light of the moon. This special anthology about family traditions, sharing meals, giving presents, and delighting in the cultural uniqueness of people all over the world isn't just for those who celebrate Eid; it's for all who want to share and learn about the holidays.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

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Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices
S. K. Ali
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