Seven is Special by Shagufta Malik
📚 BOOK REVIEW 📚
Title: Seven is Special
Author & Illustrator: Shagufta Malik @muslimfamilyoffive
Publisher: IIPH @iiphbooks
Islamic Content: family, prayer, dua
Maryam is seven and she is extremely excited about her family trip to Umrah. I mean to see the Ka'ba right before your eyes, is the most special thing she is looking forward to. But she is devastated when her parents tell her that they are cancelling the trip because her mom is pregnant. Instead, her summer is spent at home seeing her mom get sick and her dad staying home to team up with Maryam to take cake of her unwell mother.
I actually enjoyed reading this book. It is a fast paced chapter book that is an easy read. The text and story is accompanied by doodle illustrations throughout. This quick read discusses a few things within it: family, making hard decisions, prioritising, adjusting to change, and more. I particularly loved the discussion that happened through the inner thoughts of a seven year old about making wudu in public bathroom sinks and praying in a public park. When she decided not to pray at the park with her parents, she was watching them from the swing and observing others around them, she noted that noone is particularly bothered by her parents' prayer. This just touches on our inner insecurities that don't necessarily reflect the reality. I did find that at times Maryam's character was mature for her age, maybe because I have a 7 year old to compare her to and maybe because it was told from 1st person narration. Also, I wish the cover would be more visually appealing. Overall, it's a great read that kept me hooked to finish the book.