May/June 2021 Kids Indie Next List
“A 2021 must-read. Immediately captivating Nurah is an inspiring and courageous protagonist. I only wish I could have read a book like this when I growing up. All at once an enlightening and relatable read with a message that cannot be ignored.”
— Stephanie Skees, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO
For fans of Other Words for Home and Front Desk, this powerful, charming own voices immigration story follows a girl who moves from Karachi, Pakistan to Peachtree City, Georgia, and must find her footing in a new world. Reem Faruqi is the ALA Notable author of award-winning Lailah's Lunchbox.
"A lyrical coming of age story exploring family, immigration, and most of all belonging.” —Aisha Saeed, New York Times bestselling author of Amal Unbound
“This empowering story will resonate with people who have struggled to both fit in and stay true to themselves.” —Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor author of The Night Diary
“A gorgeously written story, filled with warmth and depth." —Hena Khan, author of Amina’s Voice
When her family moves from Pakistan to Peachtree City, all Nurah wants is to blend in, yet she stands out for all the wrong reasons. Nurah’s accent, floral-print kurtas, and tea-colored skin make her feel excluded, until she meets Stahr at swimming tryouts.
And in the water Nurah doesn’t want to blend in. She wants to win medals like her star athlete brother, Owais—who is going through struggles of his own in the U.S. Yet when sibling rivalry gets in the way, she makes a split-second decision of betrayal that changes their fates.
Ultimately Nurah slowly gains confidence in the form of strong swimming arms, and also gains the courage to stand up to bullies, fight for what she believes in, and find her place.
About the Author
Reem Faruqi is the ALA Notable author of Lailah’s Lunchbox, Amira’s Picture Day, I Can Help, and Unsettled, which is loosely based on Reem’s own story. Of Pakistani descent, Reem immigrated to Peachtree City, Georgia, in the United States from the United Arab Emirates when she was thirteen years old. Reem is also a teacher and photographer who loves to doodle. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and three daughters. Like Nurah, Reem loves the Pakistani beach, crows, her aquamarine silk hijab, and especially her grandmother, Nana. Visit her online at www.reemfaruqi.com.
“Faruqi’s use of free verse will captivate readers with its metaphors that emphasize feelings and details of daily life…Qureshi’s floral and paisley spot art and illustrations of hands with henna designs add delicate beauty. Lyrical. Hopeful. Poignant.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Younger readers, will easily identify or empathize with Nurah as she navigates the tricky art of fitting in while being true to herself.”
“Faruqi’s graceful verses shine…as the challenges and successes of each member impact the entire household… Faruqi offers glimpses of her real-life source material, including her family’s experiences as Muslim immigrants in September, 2001.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"This is an insightful and moving narrative that tackles a wide range of salient topics, including ableism, bullying, assimilation, colorism, racial profiling, friendship, miscarriage, and domestic abuse…crafting an unapologetic and authentic look at what it means to grow up Pakistani and Muslim in America…A thought-provoking and engaging coming-of-age story."
— School Library Journal
“Unsettled is the heartfelt story of Nurah, a girl uprooted from Pakistan who must replant herself when her family moves to the United States. Told in beautiful, accessible verse, this is a book about family missed and friendship found, of making mistakes, speaking up, and learning to flourish in the soil of a new home.”
— Rajani LaRocca, author of Midsummer’s Mayhem; Red, White, and Whole; and Much Ado About Baseball
“With poetic precision, Faruqi tells the moving tale of Nurah and her family as they move from Karachi, Pakistan to Peachtree City, Georgia. This empowering story will not only resonate with those who have emigrated from South Asia, but with all young people who have struggled to both fit in and stay true to themselves.”
— Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor author of The Night Diary
“A gorgeously written story, filled with warmth, depth, and an insightful exploration of a young immigrant adjusting to a new home and putting down roots. I loved getting to know Nurah’s kind heart and witnessing her grow stronger and more confident, while never forgetting who she is.”
— Hena Khan, author of Amina’s Voice
"A lyrical coming of age story exploring family, immigration, and most of all belonging. Nurah is a compelling main character who I was rooting for all the way through."
— Aisha Saeed, New York Times bestselling author of Amal Unbound