Books by Muslim Authors, Diverse Books, Middle Grade Books, Muslim Shelf Space

Diana and the Island of No Return by Aisha Saeed – Book Review

I loved this book so much! It’s a beautiful story about friendship and working as a team and supporting each other.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Young Princess Diana is fierce and whip-smart, and she loves her island home of Themyscira. Her deepest wish is to be able to train with the rest of the Amazons and protect her homeland–but she’s told it’s out of the question. This is the year Diana hopes to persuade her mother, Queen Hippolyta, to let her learn how to fight when the world’s most powerful women gather on Themyscira for a festival to celebrate their different cultures.

But at the start of the festivities, an unexpected and forbidden visitor–a boy!–brings news of an untold danger that threatens Themyscira and all of its sacred neighboring lands. It’s up to Diana and her best friend, Princess Sakina, to save them, even if it means tangling with a cunning demon who reveals that a terrifying force is out to capture Diana against her will.

I love all of Aisha’s books and I was so excited for her Wonder Woman series and then I heard about how one of a main characters is a young Muslim girl who is also a princess and I squealed so loud! Kid me would have been so happy to see a Muslim princess in a book as the main character!

I really loved this book and the friendship between Diana and Sakina was so beautiful. Even though they don’t get to spend a lot of time together I loved that they sent letters to each other throughout the year to keep their friendship strong. They look out for each other and listen to each other and if they hurt the other person they apologise and try to make up for it and it was so heart warming to see.

Being scared doesn’t make you less brave. I think in some ways, it makes you even more brave.

They are both driven and have goals and dreams and while they are both very different they supported each other which and pushed the other up. Throughout the story we see that they have different strengths and weaknesses and they both take lead where they need to and take a step back where they need to. Honestly adults could learn a lot from these two kids. I could talk so much about their beautiful friendship and I hope we get to see more of that in the next book!

The story also introduces a young boy who has to make a difficult decision but ultimately makes thee right choice and is able to make the best of the situation he is put in. It was great to see how well all three of them were able to work together despite the circumstances in which they met. He is also a great character where what he wants to do and what his dad expects of him is very different and he has to navigate that during the story too. I really liked how Aisha included all these themes into the story in a way that young kids can understand and relate to. While they are heavy themes at times it never feels too heavy for a middle grade book. Aisha balanced it really well.

The story itself is a sort of quest where they have to find specific things to defeat the demon that has taken a whole island hostage while also trying to figure out why he wants Diana in the first place. It’s fun and adventurous and has some great moments where I was literally cheering for the girls and I am so looking forward to the next book!

While they are able to complete the quest and save the island there is still lots of mystery and intrigue of a larger arc where we are still left with questions and I absolutely need the next book to know what will happen next! This is a story that kids will definitely enjoy especially if they love superheroes and even adults can enjoy this book!

3 thoughts on “Diana and the Island of No Return by Aisha Saeed – Book Review”

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