Zara Hossain is Here

Written by Sabina Kahn

Living in Corpus Christi, Texas, Zara is the only queer Muslim in her high school. Her parents are waiting for their working visa sponsorship to go through. Trying to keep a low profile amid the microaggressions she experiences, she spends time with her girlfriend, Chloe. Chloe’s parents, however, aren’t willing to accept the two’s relationship. When the town’s golden boy and lead instigator of Islamophobia, Tyler Benson, writes racist graffiti on her locker and on the family’s garage, Zara seeks his suspension. As she speaks out against the boy, however, her family also faces backlash. Her dad loses his long-held position and his working visa sponsorship. Terrified to return to Pakistan, will Zara and family find a way to not have to return?

The plot is well-written and thought-provoking. The main characters are complex and add a lot of depth to the story. Unflinchingly dealing with themes of immigrants, prejudice, and racism, Khan creates a thought-provoking story for readers to empathize with. Readers who like realistic fiction and books with diverse perspectives will want to pick this one up.

Reviewed by Jessica Moody, Library Technology Coach, Olympus Jr. High
Review shared in February 2023
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 7-12

Zara Hossain is Here
Written by Sabina Kahn
Scholastic Press
244 pages
Release Date: April 6, 2021
ISBN: 9781338580877
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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