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  • Writer's pictureMuslim Kids Book Nook

Stuck in the Middle by Sumayyah Hussein


Title: Stuck in the Middle

Author: Sumayyah Hussein @hussein.sumayyah

Publisher: Ruqaya's Bookshelf @ruqayas.bookshelf bookshelf

Age: 8-12


Islamic Content: one good deed erases a bad one


Concerns: birthday but not glorified



Being the middle child isn't easy for Selma. She was upset with her brother Ismail for taking a chocolate bar that she was saving for her friend's birthday. To make matters worse, he also ate Selma's piece of cake from the fridge when she needed it the most. Selma's frustration took over, and she destroyed his PS4 controller, furthermore, she turned a blind eye when she witnessed her brother being bullied at school. After Ismail was rushed to the hospital for stitches, Selma's guilt begins to grow and overtakes her thoughts. She needs to figure out a way to fix all this.



I really LOVE that this trusted Muslim publisher is moving towards having more chapter book options for our Muslim kids. We certainly need more chapter book options in the kid literature category that reflects Islamic values and the readers are able to relate and connect with the identity of the characters. This early read chapter book tackles a few very important lessons that are intertwined: sibling rivalry, payback, making mistakes and how to overcome them. The family is Muslim, and they live their lives with Islamic values but not in a way that seems to be forced. Their Islamic practices are subtle, natural and ordinary. I like Selma's friendship with Ruqaya where they can both advise one another at hard times. I love that the mother gives guidance and advise yet lets Selma figure out a solution on her own. Ruqaya's birthday is mentioned once or twice but no mention of celebrating is present. There are black and white illustrations throughout the book. This story is a great read, teaches valuable lessons and should be in every public library and classroom.



July 6/2020

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