2020’s Must Read (MG&YA) Books by Muslim Authors

Stories have always been a necessary means of escape, bringing much needed moments of peace. And it’s safe to say that 2020 has been pretty rough…

“It’s a great blessing if one can lose all sense of time, all worries, if only for a short time, in a book.”

Nella Last

As we approach the end of the year, we thought we would look back at just some of the amazing titles by Muslim authors and illustrators that so-happened to publish this year.

(The Daevabad Trilogy, #3) 
by S.A. Chakraborty

The much-anticipated finale to the stunning Daevabad trilogy published this year. Prepare to be taken on an adventure like no other, and maybe have your hearts broken…

(An Ember in the Ashes #4)
by Sabaa Tahir

Another undeniable favourite fantasy series is coming to a conclusion. Sob. We’ve been waiting for this finale with bated breath!

by Zanib Mian and illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik

This middle-grade series is full of humour, love and funky doodles. We’re so glad that this series exists – and the Muslim representation it provides through the lens of a young Muslim boy – and highly recommend it as a heart-warming and hilarious read for adults and kids alike.

by Aisha Saeed and Becky Albertalli

Yes? No? Maybe so? Aisha Saeed and Becky Albertalli (author of Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda) team up to bring us the ultimate romance, exploring cross-cultural relationships, politics and activism. And all the cutesy romance you could ask for.

by Seema Yasmin and Fahmida Azim

A full-colour illustrated collection of stories about amazing Muslim women throughout history. Inspiring and stereotype-shattering.

by Nadiya Hussain and illustrated by Ella Bailey

The talented Nadiya Hussain addresses dealing with anxiety in the form of a ‘worry monster’ in this wonderfully illustrated picture book.

by Sufiya Ahmed

A thrilling historical tale exploring the story of British Indian WWII secret spy and heroine, Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan.

(Illustrators: Nabi H Ali, Reya Ahmed, Saffa Khan, Aaliya Jaleel, Deema Alawa, Aghnia Mardiyah)

by Burhana Islam

A collection of stories about amazing Muslims throughout across the globe and throughout history. Featuring full-colour illustrations throughout, by six talented Muslim illustrators.

These are just a few of the fantastic titles published this year by Muslim authors. Let’s hope that 2021 brings a bit more good news and lots more brilliant books with Muslim representation, written and illustrated by Muslim creatives.

In the meantime, we hope this list has offered you a new title or two to add to your TBR!

Mini Author Q&A ft Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

To celebrate the recent UK cover release of Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé’s highly anticipated debut, Ace of Spades, we have a mini author Q&A. Below you’ll find her answers to some quick-fire questions (including the super important stuff, like her favourite meme…) and you’ll find the US and UK covers as well as links you can follow to pre-order!

Name one book you wish you could read again for the first time…

Cheating by saying The Mortal Instruments series – I think reading that series as a teenager was truly the last time I experienced happiness 

What is your favourite writing snack?

Reese’s cups

A meme that lives in your head rent free?

That meme of Brandy dancing to Afrodisiac…

What’s one thing you’d love readers to take away from your book?

That Black girls can kick ass in designer heels (oh, and also to interrogate everything you’ve been taught up until now by systems like education)

Which character did you have the most fun writing?

I love writing Chiamaka because she is so blunt and says whatever’s on her mind and somehow gets away with it

What is one book that you cannot wait to read?

Whatever Angie Thomas writes next…

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is a writer from South London who has dreamt of writing books about black kids saving (or destroying) the world all her life. She is an avid tea drinker, and a collector of strange mugs. She currently studies English Literature in the Scottish Highlands.

Toggle the scroll button to switch between the UK and US covers of Ace of Spades. Both will be available in-store and online in June 2021.

Pre-order Ace of Spades here at Bookshop.org (and help support local Indies!) or Waterstones.

Visit Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé‘s website to learn more about Ace of Spades or follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @faridahlikestea.

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