MVP’s Most Anticipated Books (part one)

Inspired by all the very exciting 2022 lists floating around, we’ve pulled together some of our most anticipated books by Muslim creatives coming out this year. Get your bank cards/Apple Pay/PayPal/piggy banks ready, people.

These are books publishing in the first half of the year – be sure to keep an eye out for a part two!

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh by Sufiya Ahmed

Sufiya Ahmed’s Princess Sophia Duleep Singh (My Story) explores the life of princess and suffragette, Sophia Duleep Singh. A prominent figure of the women’s rights’ movement and the god-daughter of Queen Victoria, you would think she would be more of a household name. But, sadly, her story seems to have been buried like those of endless other prominent, powerful British people of colour who sacrificed everything to better our lives. Kudos to the brilliant Sufiya Ahmed in bringing such an important story to today’s young readers, and in such a gripping and encompassing fictionalised tale. You won’t be surprised to find that this was MVP’s January Book of the Month!

Scholastic Children’s Books, 6th Jan. Grab a copy here.

Salaam, With Love by Sara Sharaf Beg

A heartfelt and humorous YA contemporary starring a Muslimah MC, set in NYC during Ramadan and exploring family, faith and first love? Take our money, now.

And. That. Cover. We’d recognise the charming art style of our fave, Aaliya Jaleel, anywhere.

Random House USA Inc, 4th Jan. Grab a copy here.

You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen

This has to be one of our favourite covers of all time. Three Black Muslimah’s represented on the cover of a YA contemporary? 2022 has already delivered. We’re so looking forward to this story of identity, strength and sisterhood from Laila Sabreen. Stunning cover art by Alex Cabal.

Inkyard Press, 8th Jan. Grab a copy here.

This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi

Our queen Tahereh Mafi has swooped in to save 2022 with a brand new YA fantasy! Just look at that stunning cover. Not to mention the Waterstones edition that comes with an irresistible sprayed edge . . .

Already a Sunday Times bestseller and TikTok sensation, we have to say the hype is well deserved!

Farshore, 3rd February. Grab a copy here.

Love Marriage by Monica Ali

The highly anticipated new title by bestselling, Booker Prize-shortlisted author Monica Ali. Readers have waited a decade for a new book from Monica Ali and she’s delivered a humour-filled and heart-warming exploration of what truly makes a love marriage.

Talking about stunning Waterstones editions, can we take a moment to appreciate this multi-coloured sprayed edge? We promise we aren’t sponsored by WTS, we just love a good sprayed edge.

Little, Brown Book Group, 3rd February. Grab a copy here.

Good Intentions by Kasim Ali

This. Book. The writing, the characters, the humour, the talent. We fell for Nur and Yasmina within a few chapters. The complex topic of prejudice and colourism within our communities is often disregarded in the face of more overt racism from elsewhere *gestures at everything*, and Kasim Ali has done such a brilliant job exploring this in this heart-wrenching debut. Definitely one to watch. (Edit: Kasim has since been dubbed the male equivalent of Sally Rooney and we gotta agree.)

HarperCollins, 3rd March. Grab a copy here.

The Balloon Thief by Aneesa Marufu

The old adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ really doesn’t apply here, because LOOK AT IT. A Black hijabi on the cover of a highly anticipated middle-grade fantasy!? We are so excited for this beaut and can’t wait to dive right in. We may have a cheeky early proof of this one sitting aside . . . (*evil cackle*)

Chicken House, 3rd March. Grab a copy here.

Squire by Nadia Shammas and Sara Alfageeh

Featuring the work of one of our favourite Muslim illustrators, Sara Alfageeh, Squire is an all-consuming and fast-paced adventure. A story of strength despite size and expectation, fighting for what’s right and not only accepting, but finding pride, in who you are. We devoured this in a single sitting and immediately wanted more – an incredible, action-filled story, Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas make a great duo.

HarperCollins, 17th March. Grab a copy here.

Sofia Khan and the Baby Blues by Ayisha Malik

Despite the slightly blue title, we can’t wait to reconnect with our girl Sofia Khan and see what she’s been up to! We’re sure she’s been just as busy as the incredible Ayisha Malik who actually has two books coming out this year. (The Movement is out the second half of the year, so won’t appear on this list, but keep an eye out for a part two!)

Better still, this title is part of The Reading Agency’s Quick Reads campaign – a campaign that aims to provide accessible, short stories by bestselling authors to tackle reading poverty and illiteracy. A wonderful initiative!

Headline, 14th April. Grab a copy here.

Rumaysa: Ever After by Radiya Hafiza

The highly anticipated follow-up to one of our favourite books of 2021 – and, let’s be honest, All Time – Rumaysa: A Fairytale. We can’t wait for more hijabi fairy tale magic and adventure. It’s exactly what 2022 needs.

Pan Macmillan, 28th April. Grab a copy here.

Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf

If you’re a fan of Scrabble or the Netflix hit Queen’s Gambit, you’ll love. Not to mention that there’s also a murder mystery when our MC “is forced to investigate the mysterious death of her best friend a year after the fact when her Instagram comes back to life with cryptic posts and messages.” You’re welcome.

Salaam Reads, 19th April. Grab a copy here.

A Show for Two by Tashie Bhuiyan

A Show for Two is a heartfelt, hate-to-love romance and exploration of first love, mental health and complex family dynamics. The author describes this as her love letter to New York City.

It’s also a romcom inspired by the time Tom Holland went undercover at the author’s high school!? (Yes, the Tom Holland. As in Zendaya’s boyfriend? Spider-Man? Him.) Are you shitting me? Hand it over.

Inkyard Press, 10th May. Grab a copy here.

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One Nights, The Stardust Thief weaves the gripping tale of a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a magical lamp.

One word: yes.

Little, Brown Book Group, 19th May. Grab a copy here.

Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed

Jawad Ali was just fourteen when a teacher saw him wearing a cosplay jetpack and mistook it for a bomb. A mistake that got Jawad arrested, labelled a terrorist – ‘Bomb Boy’ – and eventually killed. But who was the young boy behind the headlines?

Inspired by real-life events, this is a timely and heart- wrenching exploration of privilege, silent complicity and, really, the effed up everyday stereotypes, abuse and Islamophobia Muslims have to deal with, and how it can have very real consequences. Samira Ahmed is never afraid to ask the difficult questions and we are grateful for it.

Little, Brown Book Group, 10th May. Grab a copy here.

Talking About A Revolution by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

A collection of essays from the brilliant Yassmin Abdel-Magied on everything from the importance of having hobbies just for fun (not every day capitalism and side hustles), her struggle at leaving one home, family and life back in Australia and trying to build another in London.

With a running theme of revolution, we are more than ready for an inspiring boost of motivation. Vive la révolution.

Random House Australia, 31st May. Grab a copy here.

These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany

A story of womanhood, sisterhood and faith – we can’t want to go on this journey with these three friends. Salma El-Wardany is an absolute powerhouse and we’re thrilled to see her joining the publishing game!

Orion Publishing, 9th June. Grab a copy here.

A Flash of Fireflies by Aisha Bushby

Aisha Bushby is back with another stunning children’s book about finding your place in the world. While exploring complex and nuanced topics of friendship and identity, Aisha Bushby’s stories carry a dash of magic in every word.

HarperCollins, 9th June. Grab a copy here.

A Mermaid Girl by Sara Rafi and Olivia Asser

A picture book about a young girl who wears a burkini for the first time and feels like a powerful, magical mermaid – until others begin to make her feel different. A story about strength, wonder and the freedom that comes with completely owning who you are!

Penguin USA, 28th June. Grab a copy here.

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