Nayra and the Djinn

Viking. Feb. 2023. 256p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9780593117118. pap. $13.99. ISBN 9780593117125.
Gr 6-9–Nayra wants to be accepted for herself, but between pressures put on her by her family for not being like her siblings and bullying she faces at school for being Muslim, there are very few places where she feels safe. Things get particularly bad during Ramadan when her classmates constantly make fun of her and her friend Rami for fasting. Nayra finds comfort in a chat channel for Muslim Americans who want to archive their folklore and oral traditions, and when a Djinn joins the conversation in search of help, Nayra jumps at the unbelievable opportunity. Marjan offers Nayra a glimpse into the otherworldly life of Djinns, and also friendship, advice, and affirmation. But Nayra’s growth doesn’t sit well with Rami, who feels that she is losing her only friend. The clock is ticking in this endearing graphic novel, and Nayra has until the end of Ramadan to fix her relationship problems and help Marjan return home.
VERDICT A captivating use of Islamic beliefs and culture to share with readers the importance of rebuilding relationships and standing up for oneself.

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