Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr): Vroom! by Barbara McClintock

More to the Story

It's not necessary to be a fan of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women to enjoy Hena Khan's (Amina's Voice) More to the Story, but it does add a soupçon of literary gratification. Jameela (Jam) is a 13-year-old aspiring journalist. She and her three sisters are loosely based on the March sisters, with counterpart-corresponding names (Jameela/Jo, Aleeza/Amy, etc.). Life in their happy, bickering Pakistani American Muslim family has always been pretty uneventful--until now. A cute Pakistani British boy moves to town; Jam earns the coveted features editor position at the school paper but has to work under her nemesis; her father must go to Abu Dhabi for a six-month work contract; and sister Bisma falls seriously ill. Middle-school-aged readers will find the challenges Jam faces at school and with family realistic and eminently understandable. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor