Picture of author.

Hena Khan

Author of Amina's Voice

32+ Works 3,077 Members 148 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Hena Khan

Image credit: reading at 2018 Gaithersburg Book Festival By Slowking4 - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69292102

Series

Works by Hena Khan

Amina's Voice (2017) 766 copies
Under My Hijab (2019) 254 copies
Power Forward (2018) 179 copies
Amina's Song (2021) 148 copies
More to the Story (2019) 128 copies
Like the Moon Loves the Sky (2020) 69 copies
On Point (2018) 65 copies
The Worst-Case Scenario: Mars (2011) — Author — 59 copies
Bounce Back (2018) 45 copies
The Worst-Case Scenario: Amazon (2011) — Author — 40 copies

Associated Works

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices (2018) — Contributor — 221 copies
The Hero Next Door (2019) — Contributor — 89 copies

Tagged

basketball (28) children (30) children's (22) colors (82) culture (59) diversity (80) Eid (19) family (94) fiction (87) friendship (57) grade 5 (38) hijab (24) holiday (14) holidays (39) immigration (20) Islam (185) juvenile fiction (31) middle grade (38) middle school (28) moon (15) multicultural (76) music (19) Muslim (246) Muslims (35) non-fiction (22) Pakistani American (37) picture book (157) Q-R (23) Ramadan (70) realistic fiction (95) religion (117) rhyming (14) series (39) shapes (21) social justice (16) sports (42) to-read (111) tradition (18) traditions (23) U-W (15)

Common Knowledge

Gender
female
Birthplace
Maryland, USA

Members

Reviews

Representation: Asian characters
Trigger warnings: Anxiety, panic attack
Score: Seven out of ten.
Find this review on The StoryGraph.

This one was surprisingly enjoyable. I haven't heard of Drawing Deena by Hena Khan until a few days ago, when I picked it up from a library shelf, since I had no other choice when the books I wanted were gone. The ratings were high, and when I closed the final page, I liked this work, but it was heavy for its target audience.

It starts with Deena recounting her life, particularly how she feels stressed, but her mother dismissed that, saying her problems are worse than hers, initially sending a message of ignoring mental health, but that soon changes. The book then turns to other, more lighthearted subplots, including one about art where Van Gogh inspires Deena, and another where she modernises her mother's store by making a website. When I think about it, there aren't too many of them, but it feels jarring when juxtaposed against the central storyline of anxiety. I appreciated another character wanting more artists of colour to inspire Deena instead of only white artists in the guise of 'decolonising' her mind, but not literal decolonisation, which I found intriguing. The pacing is enough to keep the creation going without being overwhelming, lasting over 200 pages, and nothing goes to waste, and I enjoyed seeing the diverse cast, given Deena and her family are Pakistani American. I still don't see enough non-American Asian stories, though.

However, I don't understand why Deena's panic attacks went unnoticed for so long I had to read to the last 50 pages for the resolution. Conversations soon arise with Deena, her mother and the school about her mental illness, but not before a counsellor advises Deena to try out some coping strategies like breathing. Khan also implies people like Deena's mother tend to hide mental health issues, but not every person is the same. Khan thinks families are like this, but she also thinks they can change their stances with the right people. The characters are likable, but even with character development, I couldn't relate to her passion, as I'm not an artist myself, but I can see how people who live with similar conditions can connect. The concluding pages are heartwarming. That's all I can say.
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Law_Books600 | 1 other review | May 19, 2024 |
It was amazing to see all of the different types of hijabs and the creativity of the women.
 
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JadynFlo | 15 other reviews | Apr 23, 2024 |
Asophisticated color-concept book featuring a contemporary family introduces Islam to young Muslims and children who don’t practice this faith.

Here the basic colors, plus gold and silver, are used to explain aspects of Islamic life. A young girl with very large eyes narrates, using short, childlike and occasionally forced verses to match colors and objects: “Gold is the dome of the mosque, / big and grand. / Beside it two towering / minarets stand.” She describes a red prayer rug, her mom’s blue hijab (headscarf), white kufis (traditional men’s woven hats), black ink for a calligraphic design, brown dates for Ramadan, orange henna designs, an Eid gift of a doll with a purple dress, a yellow zakat (charity) box, a green Quran (green has special significance in Islam, not explained here), and a silver fanoos, “a shiny lantern.” The glossary is excellent, explaining unfamiliar terms succinctly. The stylized illustrations, richly detailed, often play with the sizes of the objects in a surrealistic way. It is difficult to tell whether the family lives in the Middle East, Britain (home of the artist) or North America. The secular architecture looks Western, but the mosque looks very grand and Middle Eastern. The clothing styles are difficult to associate with a particular country. This both maximizes accessibility and deprives the tale of specificity—clearly a conscious trade-off.

A vibrant exploratory presentation that should be supplemented with other books. (Picture book. 4-7)

-Kirkus Review
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CDJLibrary | 58 other reviews | Apr 2, 2024 |
(Full disclosure I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Content warning for depictions of Islamophobia.)

When Aliya Javaid's parents announce that they're moving the family from Florida to Milwaukee, she and her older brother Ameen are none too happy. (Younger brother Ismail seems like more of the carefree type.) For starters, she's already one month into her freshman year. It'll be nice to live near her grandparents, but she doesn't want to leave her friends behind. And while Peace Academy does have a girls' basketball team, the bad news is that they kind of stink.

But the Javaids aren't the only addition to Peace Academy this year - the girls' basketball team has a new coach, Jessica Martinez, who is determined to execute a Mighty Ducks makeover. For Aliya, this means getting out of her own head, and learning to enjoy her victories at least as much as she dwells on her mistakes. As the team makes a slow but steady comeback, local and then state (and even national?) news outlets begin to pick up the story of the all-Muslim lineup. Armed with leading questions and an apparent agenda, the girls are forced to block more than just field goals. (Yeah, I had to look that term up.)

Based on a true story - that of the Salam School's girls' varsity team in the 2018-19 season - WE ARE BIG TIME is a gentle story about teamwork, friendship, and belonging. As the editorial director Rotem Moscovich notes in the ARC's front matter, Khan introduces elements of Islamophobia and discrimination without allowing them to dominate the girls' story - much as how the girls on the team handle the reports' asinine questions, redirecting their story in a more relevant direction. The depictions of female friendship and camaraderie are refreshing, and I really enjoyed the scenes with the extended (and super-supportive) Javaid family.
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smiteme | Mar 3, 2024 |

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Statistics

Works
32
Also by
5
Members
3,077
Popularity
#8,298
Rating
4.2
Reviews
148
ISBNs
145
Languages
1

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