Black Out by Sumayyah Hussein
📚 BOOK REVIEW 📚 Title: Black Out Author: Sumayyah Hussein Illustrator: Majd Massijeh Publisher: Ruqayya's Bookshelf Type: Fiction Age: 8-12 Rating: 10 /10 🌟 ⭐ Islamic Content: Muslim Family ⭐ Concerns: they lightly touch upon a drowning but not graphic at all ⭐ Summary: Yusuf and his family welcome Aunt Amal and Ahmed from overseas, seeking refuge from Syria. Yusuf's weekend plans are shattered when they wake up to a cold winter morning only to find that the power has gone out. Strong storms during the night have caused large tree branches to fall on the power lines. The family has to readjust to the new circumstances. Yusuf is disappointed. Everyone is spending their time in the living room, including the nights bundled in layers of clothing and blankets to keep warm. They discuss the drowning of Ahmed's father as they kindly remember him and his character. Aunt Amal and Ahmed remind everyone they must find the good even in the toughest situations. The next day, they checked in on their elder next door neighbour that lives alone and found him in a point of weakness and called for help. Ahmed and Yusuf come up with a plan to use up their large quantity of frozen meat which was now thawing without electricity. This has taught the boys not only to be creative, but grateful for some blessings they enjoyed and took for granted. ⭐ Review: I specifically re-read this book as it is relevant to what is currently happening in the world. It really centers around finding the good in the circumstances that life brings about, whether it is as simple as a three-day power outage or as heavy as the loss of someone you love. Not only is it clean and appropriate for the age range, but the lessons in it come in folds. Family, readjustment, caring, kindness to neighbours, gratitude are all intertwined so beautifully. ⭐ The author accurately depicts the difference in reactions between Yusuf and Ahmed. For Yusuf, a simple inconvenience triggers big disarray in his life compared to Ahmed, who has had to live through loss and can positively live his life in gratitude. I love how the two different perspectives are shown simultaneously through child characters. This is an easy chapter book read, and the Islamic aspects of their identity are shown so naturally in within the family. They go to the masjid to pray and sometimes pray at home, the women are in hijab but nowhere in there the 'identity crisis' is ever mentioned which I love. We consume countless books that revolve around the struggles of Muslim identity, so this book is so refreshingly unapologetic.
⭐ @Ruqayas.bookshelf has become one of few, if not only, trusted publishers that offer amazing books pictures books for our kids. This is the only chapterbook they currently have published. Because clean and appropriate books in this range are difficult to find, my ultimate wish is that they would bring more options for chapterbook readers. ⭐ Available: @ruqayyas.bookshelf #blackout #sumayyahussein #muslimkidsbooks #islamickidsbooks #muslimauthor #muslimkidslit #raisingmuslimreaders