More to the Story by Hena Khan
More to the Story introduces a Pakistani-American family of girls ages 10 through 16 who negotiate the challenges of a contemporary family life in Atlanta.
Seventh grader Jameela and her sisters Maryam, Bisma, and Aleeza miss their father who must temporarily work overseas. The narrative’s dynamic shifts slightly when teenage Ali, the son of a family friend, moves into town. When Jam decides to feature Ali in an article for the school newspaper, she faces a question of journalistic ethics.
A major plot point centers around Bisma's cancer diagnosis and treatment. The effects of a serious illness are accurately described without excessive technical details and medical jargon.
Khan seamlessly blends Muslim life, including religious observance, food, and customs into the narrative. A heartwarming story.
So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix
by Bethany C. Morrow read by Adenrele Ojo
So Many Beginnings is a stunning reimagining of Little Women that starts with Alcott's early 1860's time period and then fashions an entirely new tale, deftly weaving in often-overlooked aspects of American history. The March family resides in the Freedpeople's Colony of Roanoke Island, working to build a free society for formerly enslaved individuals.
Morrow's characters are intelligent women with lofty goals. Meg is a teacher who hopes to marry. Joanna dreams of becoming an author but by day works alongside construction crews, building homes in the colony. Bethlehem is a skilled seamstress and designer who wants to develop an African-based clothing enterprise. Talented dancer Amethyst earns accolades as a performer. The sisters encounter both overt and subtle forms of racism and gender inequality as they pursue personal and professional ambitions.