Amina's Voice

Amina's Voice

For Ages: 8 - 12
“Amina’s anxieties are entirely relatable, but it’s her sweet-hearted nature that makes her such a winning protagonist.” —Entertainment Weekly

A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Amina’s Voice

By Hena Khan

About the Book

The first year of middle school is tricky. Suddenly, Amina’s best friend, Soojin, starts talking about changing her name and, even worse, spending time with Emily—a girl that used to make fun of them! Amina’s older brother seems to be getting into a lot of trouble for his grades, and now he wants to play basketball instead of studying. To make matters worse, her uncle comes to visit from Pakistan, and her parents seem to be trying awfully hard to impress him. With so many changes, it’s hard to know how to be a good friend, sister, and daughter. But when Amina’s mosque is vandalized, she learns that the things that connect us will always be stronger than the things that try to tear us apart.

Discussion Questions

1. Describe Amina’s feelings about music. What keeps Amina from telling her teacher that she would like to sing a solo? What could Amina do to overcome her fear? Have you ever been afraid to do something you wanted to do? What happened?

2. Why does Soojin consider changing her name? Why do you think Amina is uncomfortable with the idea of Soojin changing her name? Have you ever wanted to change your own name?

3. Why do you think Emily decides to stop being friends with Julie and to start being friends with Soojin and Amina? Why doesn’t Amina trust her see more

About the Author

Hena Khan
Photo courtesy of the author

Hena Khan

Hena Khan is a Pakistani-American who was born and raised in Maryland. She enjoys writing about her culture as well as all sorts of other subjects, from spies to space travel. She is the author of several books including It’s Ramadan, Curious George; Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns; The Night of the Moon; and Amina’s Voice. Hena lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband and two sons. You can learn more about Hena by visiting her website at HenaKhan.com.

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