Release Date: April 6, 2021
Genre: YA Fiction
Zara’s family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them.
Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family’s dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.
But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara’s entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she’s ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.
From the author of the “heart-wrenching yet hopeful” (Samira Ahmed) novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, comes a timely, intimate look at what it means to be an immigrant in America today, and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate.
Sabina Khan is the author of ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE (Scholastic/ April 6, 2021) and THE LOVE & LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI (Scholastic, 2019). She is an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast. After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, two daughters and the best puppy in the world.
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An eye opening book. Every teen, every human being should read Zara Hossain is Here and inculcate in themselves that racism is wrong, period.
I have seen islamophobia in my country India as well. So much bias in terms of religion. It is worse than facing bias in an alien country.
To be honest, I too have some bias ingrained in me by the society. This book reminded me that it is an injustice to innocent people.
The character of Zara connected with me. I admired the fact that she is someone who takes charge of her own fate. Crying, bawling, throwing tantrums is not the way. Fighting for fundamental rights is. She can be an inspiration to many teens.
I found a kindred spirit in Zara in terms of living with queerness (I am asexual by the way).
Loved the Fawad Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Noah Centineo references. Enjoyed the south East Asian touches.
My favourite line has to be “chumma-chati in front of the house.” I was rolling on the floor laughing.
In short, Zara Hossain is Here is an important read for this day and time.
Thank you Hear Our Voices Book Tours and Scholastic for the digital copy.