Power Forward (Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream #1) (Paperback)
Power Forward is the perfect story for young sports fans about balancing the ideal amount of school and play. I especially enjoyed this book because it featured a young Pakistani boy and his family going about their lives as Americans. Filled with sibling banter, school-work, home-cooked meals, and family-drama, this is a book that I would give to a young reader who wants to see themselves in a story as basketball fan or as a Pakistani-American.
— From Staff Picks by Jessica
From the critically acclaimed author of Amina’s Voice comes the first book in an exciting new middle grade series about a fourth-grader with big dreams of basketball stardom.
Fourth grader Zayd Saleem has some serious hoop dreams. He’s not just going to be a professional basketball player. He’s going to be a star. A legend. The first Pakistani-American kid to make it to the NBA. He knows this deep in his soul. It’s his destiny. There are only a few small things in his way.
For starters, Zayd’s only on the D-team. (D stands for developmental, but to Zayd it’s always felt like a bad grade or something.) Not to mention, he’s a bit on the scrawny side, even for the fourth grade team. But his best friend Adam is on the Gold Team, and it’s Zayd’s dream for the two of them to play together.
His mom and dad don’t get it. They want him to practice his violin way more than his jump shot. When he gets caught blowing off his violin lessons to practice, Zayd’s parents lay down the ultimate punishment: he has to hang up his high tops and isn’t allowed to play basketball anymore.
As tryouts for the Gold Team approach, Zayd has to find the courage to stand up for himself and chase his dream.
About the Author
Hena Khan is a Pakistani American writer. She is the author of the middle grade novels Amina’s Voice, Amina’s Song, and More to the Story and picture books Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, Under My Hijab, and It’s Ramadan, Curious George, among others. Hena lives in her hometown of Rockville, Maryland, with her family. You can learn more about Hena and her books by visiting her website at HenaKhan.com or connecting with her @HenaKhanBooks.
Sally Wern Comport has illustrated numerous picture books and novels, including Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Guiding Beliefs (as told by his niece); Brave Margaret: An Irish Adventure; Hanging Off Jefferson’s Nose: Growing Up on Mt. Rushmore; and the Spy Mice series. She has also translated her picture making skills to various large-scale public, private, and institutional artworks. Sally lives with her husband and two daughters in Annapolis, Maryland, where she operates Art at Large Inc. Learn more at ArtAtLargeInc.com.
"Zayd is a sympathetic protagonist, and his story is told with humor and artfully filled with interesting cultural matter...Readers will cheer for Zayd and look forward to the next volume."
— Kirkus Reviews
Twins is a charming new middle-grade graphic novel that is uplifting and entertaining, but also extremely realistic in its portrayals of just what it feels like to start the shift from elementary school from middle school. This story follows Maureen and Francine, two twin sisters, as they enter into middle school together. This story perfectly captures that strange and liminal space that one feels when transitioning from elementary school from middle school, where you are still a kid, but suddenly the world sees you as so much older. It captures all those confusing moments: the innocent conflicts while making new friends and wanting to find yourself; mixed with the scarier, more adult stuff like academic pressure and even how scary it feels to be witness to racial prejudice or vandalism. Twins is written and illustrated with intelligence and charm and is the next pick for fans of such things as Raina Telgemeier’s many books, the Baby Sitter’s Club, or the Nat Enough series!
(Graphic Novel, Ages 8+) - reviewed by Isabel