Meet Yasmin! is a new early chapter book by Saadia Faruqi. We were generously given a copy to read and review, and all opinions are our own.
Yasmin is a Pakistani American second-grader who is a problem solver, and throughout all of the stories, is a child that never gave up. Meet Yasmin! is comprised of four mini-books, whose colorful illustrations by Hatem Aly are an engaging addition to the text. All four books deal with real-life situations children Yasmin’s age typically face each day . She is a character that is easy to relate to, and throughout the book you learn a lot about her parents and culture. Books should be windows and mirrors*, and Meet Yasmin is that for many children around the world. We think every classroom should have a copy of this book in their library.
We had the opportunity to interview Saadia Faruqi, here are three questions about the book & 3 questions about the her
3 Questions about Meet Yasmin
What are three words you’d use to describe your book?
Relevant. Fun. Timely.
What literary character would Yasmin be friends with and why?
In contemporary characters, Yasmin would probably be friends with Katie Woo, from the Katie Woo series by Fran Manushkin. Going back a bit, she’d probably have much in common with Meg from A Wrinkle in Time. These are all girls who aren’t superheroes, and they often struggle with what life throws at them, but they don’t give up.
What was your motivation for making Yasmin into an early chapter book vs. wanting it to be a middle grade book or even a picture book?
Actually this book started out as a picture book, and then somehow evolved into an early reader series. So it’s gone through some iterations before it found the skin it was comfortable in. I feel that the age group of K-2 is perfect for what Yasmin stands for. It’s the time when kids are just learning about their identities and the world around them, and this age is the perfect age to learn about Yasmin and her family.
3 Questions about You
If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to be and why?
Is that even possible? I’m a writer forever! But if I wasn’t a writer I’d be working in some sort of marketing job because I really enjoy the promotion aspect of book publishing as well. And then I’d write a book about how to do that!
What is one book that has stuck with you since you’ve read it?
I recently read Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart and was really shook by it. I think books that handle death and loss in a way children can handle it are so important, and I can’t stop telling everyone about this book!
What is one item in your refrigerator that tells us about you?
There is a lot of Diet Coke in there, which is only for me and nobody else is allowed to drink! It’s my go-to source of caffeine since I don’t drink tea or coffee, and it helps me think when I’m trying to relax.
Thank you Saadia for taking the time to chat with us!
* Credit given to: Rudine Sims Bishop for the term