Lincoln and Lyman Moore middle schools and Rowe Elementary School were excited to welcome author Saadia Faruqi for virtual visits this week to discuss her new book, “Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero.” The schools hosted the events in collaboration with Print: A Bookstore. Faruqi visited the middle schools on Sept. 13 and Rowe on Sept. 14.
Faruqi is a Pakistani American writer who lives in Texas. She is an interfaith activist, and cultural-sensitivity trainer and is the author of the early-reader Yasmin series and “A Thousand Questions.” Her latest work is tied to the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as seen from the viewpoint of a young member of a Muslim community in a small town in Texas.
Print described the significance of Faruqi’s work: “At a time when we are all asking questions about identity, grief, and how to stand up for what is right, this book by the author of “A Thousand Questions” will hit home with young readers who love Hena Khan and Varian Johnson—or anyone struggling to understand recent U.S. history and how it still affects us today.”
Here’s a synopsis of “Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero”:
“Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas—and nearly that long waiting for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can win.
Only, this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an anniversary that has everyone in his Muslim community on edge.
With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger from two decades ago hasn’t gone away. Can he hold onto his joy—and his friendships—in the face of heartache and prejudice?”
Families who want to order Faruqi’s books from Print can use the discount code ROWE to receive 20% off their order. The discount, which Print is offering until the end of September, is only available to PPS families, please. Orders can either be mailed to your home or picked up at the bookstore. If you have any questions, contact Print’s children's manager, Stephanie Heinz, at email@example.com or 207-536-4778.
Not all families are able to purchase books. In order to help ensure all students have access to new books and to keep this type of programming sustainable, Print is accepting community donations to purchase copies of “Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero,” which will be distributed to students and classroom libraries. Here’s the wishlist to purchase copies on behalf of the middle schools, and here's the wishlist to purchase books for Rowe.