Books by Muslim Authors, Middle Grade Books

Rumaysa by Radiya Hafiza – ARC Review

This is the book kid me needed and I am so glad it exists now and so wonderfully written.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

This funny and empowering story weaves together three classic fairytales into one new adventure with an unusual structural twist: Rumaysa is a Muslim girl who lets her hijab down from a tall tower in order to escape. Set in a magical version of South Asia, Rumaysa explores enchanted forests and dragon lairs, teaming up with Cinderayla and Sleeping Sara along the way to create a strong sense of sisterhood. 

I loved this book so much! The story was fun and entertaining and also full of south Asian culture that was so familiar to me and the best part was that the characters were Muslim! Muslim princess fairytales, books I wish I could I have had as a kid.

I loved way that Radiya made each story her own while still keeping the original fairytale recognisable. While we don’t get to see all the illustrations in the arc we do get one of Rumaysa in her tower and it’s so cute. My finished copy has arrived and I can say that the art is amazing! Girls in hijab, south Asian culture on full display, I love it so much!

I really loved how three fairytales were woven together with Rumaysa as the central character but not overtaking the other stories. It was so well done and such a wonderful surprise to read those twists. I loved how her hijab is key to her escaping the tower and that we see her struggle with being so isolated and alone. Her sole companion is an owl who helps her escape and is her eyes to the outside world. It was also so great to see that Rumaysa mentions praying her daily prayers and that it gave her structure to her day. The way they were just included as a normal part of her just made me smile.

Rumaysa is a wonderful character, she is determined and resilient and because she has never been outside so she is so grateful for all the experiences she now gets to see because she has missed out for many years and it reminded me of how girls are kept incredibly sheltered and not allowed to experience things and kept at home and so miss out on so many things. Sara’s story is also similar in that because her parents are afraid of losing her they go to extremes to keep her safe but that puts her at a disadvantage and she is unable to help those that she is responsible for. It shows how girls are so much more capable than adults give them credit for.

I really loved all three stories even though I’m not a fan of the original Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty story. I especially loved how the princesses saved themselves instead of waiting for a prince to turn up to save them. They helped and supported each other and they knew their worth. Especially Ayla who stood her ground and said she doesn’t want to be with someone who thinks wealth and looks is so important. Ayla’s step sisters also were a nice surprise. They copied the way their mother behaved towards her and it shows that children will copy what adults will do. But they also knew it wasn’t okay and eventually changed for the better and stood up for themselves too.

I loved this book so much and how message of girls supporting girls but also how toxic masculinity was tackled too through Suleiman. He doesn’t want to be the type of boy that his parents expect and push him into her prefers building things and being creative, not being outdoors all the time and that this is okay too. This book tackles many issues that are prevalent in the south Asian community in a way kids can understand but also not being so heavy that it takes away from the fun and magic of the story.

Give this book to all the kids you know. Everyone deserves to see themselves as the hero in the story and this book made kid me so very happy.

Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites – Favourite Villains

This is hosted by Something of the Book who created this tag out of a love for lists. There are different topics for us all to be able to take part and you can find the prompts here. There isn’t a specific number of favourites so it’s entirely up to you how many you share. You can share your most or least favourites too!

As I did a post on my favourite villains not too long ago, I thought I would share my favourite Disney villains instead!

So here are the Disney villains I love or love to hate!

1 Hades from Hercules – I actually love Hades, I mean I know he’s trying to take over Olympus but he’s so sarcastic while doing it that you just can’t help but root for him just a little.

2Maleficient from Sleeping Beauty – The only good thing about this film was Maleficent.

3 Scar from The Lion King – Another absolutely awful villain who was sarcastic enough for me to actually enjoy his presence

4 Gaston from Beauty and the Beast – The Disney version of white male privilege and damn I could not stand him.

5 Jafar from Aladdin – I really hated him and how he view Jasmine as a thing to be owned

6 Mother Gothel from Tangled – I have never hated a Disney villain more than her. She manipulated, isolated and controlled Rapunzal and gaslit her when she tried to fight for her dream. Urgh! I really hate her!

So these are the villains I love to hate! Let me know who your favourites are!

Booksish Discussions

My Favourite Films to Watch in the Winter

Okay so with the weather getting colder I just want to snuggle with my cat and a blanket with candles lit and a cup of tea. I love being able to read in the cold evening but I also love watching my favourite films this time of year, even more so than the rest of the year! There’s just something comforting about watching them this time of year. So I thought I would share with you all and find out what you like to do when it’s cold.

Of course the Harry Potter films are top of the list! I watch them every winter, when I lived at home with my family, me and my sisters would watch them all over the Christmas holidays. Now though it’s just me as my husband is not a big Harry Potter fan. He only watched the films a few years ago when I made him watch them with me!

Since the release of Fantastic Beasts on DVD this has also become one of my comfort films. I love watching it especially when I feel unwell. I love Newt so much, he’s such a cinnamon roll!

Another favourite of mine is The Lord of the Rings trilogy! This is actually one of the few films my husband enjoys and will watch more than once so we will watch them together, when it’s cold and neither of us can be bothered to go out for date night. Takeaways and The Lord of the Rings has become a staple date night in our house.

Okay so I know many people didn’t like The Hobbit films but I do and I also love watching these.

My favourite Disney film is Tangled and I HAVE to watch it, I mean I watch it throughout the year too but it’s a must in the winter. I adore Rapunzal and Flynn and they are my OTP!

I have a few other Disney films that I love to watch too, all of them films of my childhood and they always make me feel nostalgic. From Hercules, Aladdin, Aristocats and Mulan being some of my favourites!

The last one that I love watching is Pride and Prejudice. I adore Darcy and Elizabeth so much! It’s my favourite classic and I’m glad the film does it justice!

So here are some of my favourite films to watch during the winter. Do you love any of these? What do you like watching?