YA authors S. K Ali and Tahereh Mafi
A conversation with two YA authors
Join us for a special event featuring two YA authors S. K. Ali and Tahereh Mafi! The two authors will talk about their books, answer questions from the audience, and then sign books.
If you can't make it to the event but would like a copy signed and personalized, please feel free to contact us before the event or order online below.
About Love From to A to Z: From William C. Morris Award Finalist S.K. Ali comes an unforgettable romance that is part The Sun Is Also a Star mixed with Anna and the French Kiss , following two Muslim teens who meet during a spring break trip.
A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes--because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.
An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb's teacher, who won't stop reminding the class how "bad" Muslims are.
But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn't bad. She's angry. When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt's house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break. Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, "nicer" version of herself in a place where no one knows her.
Then her path crosses with Adam's.
Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam's stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister. Adam's also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father. Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.
Until a marvel and an oddity occurs...
Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
About A Very Large Expanse of Sea: From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series comes a gorgeous and heartrending contemporary novel inspired by her own experiences with first love, breakdancing, and the devastating impact of prejudice.
About S. K. Ali: S.K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her family of Muslim scholars is consistently listed in the The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching. A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S.K. Ali's debut YA novel is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith.
About Tahereh Mafi: Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Very Large Expanse of Sea, the Shatter Me series, Furthermore, and Whichwood. She can usually be found overcaffeinated and stuck in a book. You can find her online just about anywhere @TaherehMafi or on her website, www.taherehbooks.com.
This is a fantastic debut contemporary teen novel that tells the story of a Muslim teen, Janna, and her acceptance of her identity. Told in first person, Janna has some preconceived notions of some of her close friends, and needs to be strong and brave as she fights others preconceived notions of good and bad. Questioning herself, her motives, her strengths and her faith, Janna is a fully formed heroine for our time! Appreciating differences and strength in family is a key theme in this terrific book. I would love to see a continuing of Janna and her family! - Maureen
A Very Large Expanse of Sea was different than my normal reads for many reasons: 1) it dealt with modern politics and tensions 2) it dealt with racism, bias, and cultural interaction. Mafi's book challenged my way of thinking about other cultures and people. (It will probably do it to you too.) I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn problems in our society. - Kaitlyn, customer age 13
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Isla Morley's The Last Blue takes place mainly in 1937 and a bit in the 1970s and is about Havens, a struggling photographer and his reporter sent by Roosevelt to document America’s working class. They are sent to Appalachia and encounter elusive-for-a-reason siblings who are Blue people. The photographer is instantly smitten, falls (literally) head over heels for Jubilee and tries to keep quiet about these folks in the hollers who are “different”. This historical fiction novel indicates clearly the depths of hatred some “right-colored” people have for people who are “different” (poverty, upbringing, skin color) from themselves but is finally, a luminous love story, with Havens learning to let go as Jubilee learns to stand up for herself. When I slow down my reading as I enter the last chapters of a book, I just want to stay within this book’s “walls” and not escape to the real world. - reviewed by Maureen