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You Truly Assumed
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You Truly Assumed
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"You Truly Assumed is a beautiful portrayal of the multitude of ways to be Black and Muslim while navigating our contemporary world. A must-read for everyone."—Adiba Jaigirdar, author of The...
"You Truly Assumed is a beautiful portrayal of the multitude of ways to be Black and Muslim while navigating our contemporary world. A must-read for everyone."—Adiba Jaigirdar, author of The...
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  • "You Truly Assumed is a beautiful portrayal of the multitude of ways to be Black and Muslim while navigating our contemporary world. A must-read for everyone."—Adiba Jaigirdar, author of The Henna Wars

    In this compelling and thought-provoking debut novel, after a terrorist attack rocks the country and anti-Islamic sentiment stirs, three Black Muslim girls create a space where they can shatter assumptions and share truths.
    Sabriya has her whole summer planned out in color-coded glory, but those plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home. When the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia grows, Sabriya turns to her online journal for comfort. You Truly Assumed was never meant to be anything more than an outlet, but the blog goes viral as fellow Muslim teens around the country flock to it and find solace and a sense of community.
    Soon two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join Bri to run You Truly Assumed and the three quickly form a strong friendship. But as the blog's popularity grows, so do the pushback and hateful comments. When one of them is threatened, the search to find out who is behind it all begins, and their friendship is put to the test when all three must decide whether to shut down the blog and lose what they've worked for...or take a stand and risk everything to make their voices heard.
    "I reached the ending with tears in my eyes—tears cued not by sadness but hope and elation." —S. K. Ali, New York Times bestselling author of The Proudest Blue and Love from A to Z

About the Author-

  • Laila Sabreen is a writer of young adult contemporary. Raised in the Washington, DC area, she currently attends Emory University and majors in English and Sociology. Her love of writing began as a love of reading when she fell in love with the Angelina Ballerina series. When she isn't writing, she can be found working on essays, creating playlists that are way too long, and watching This Is Us.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    December 15, 2021
    An outlet for personal expression evolves into a space for Black Muslim young women to assert their identities, find friendship, and build community. The summer before her senior year, ballet dancer Sabriya, a Black Muslim teen, has big plans. But a terrorist attack at Union Station in Washington, D.C., shatters those dreams, and the terrorist's assumed Muslim identity sparks a wave of Islamophobia. Encouraged by her younger sister, Bri journals about her emotions online--not realizing the posts are public until comments start flooding in. Having created a virtual space for others like her, she connects in particular with two other Black Muslim teens: Zakat, a burgeoning artist and Islamic school student from a progressive Muslim community in Georgia, and Farah, an aspiring computer programmer from California. Blogging together, the girls inspire each other toward courageous action in their individual lives. Written in chapters alternating among the perspectives of the teens, the novel explores themes of religious and racial identity, family, friendship, love, and belonging as they navigate anti-Muslim sentiment and incidents in their respective communities. Compelling storytelling that explores the challenges and rewards of being Black and Muslim is where this novel excels, and it will prompt readers to reflect on their own assumptions. However, the novel's ambitious narrative structure leaves some plot threads feeling rushed. Despite the laudable attempt to portray the diversity of Black Muslim American life, some elements feel implausible or are presented without sufficient context, which could be puzzling to cultural insiders and misleading to others. An ambitious debut that will hopefully pave the way for more narratives centering Black Muslim experiences. (Fiction. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 20, 2021
    Sabreen illuminates the often-overlooked perspectives of Black Muslim teen girls in this emotionally charged debut. Sabriya Siddiq is one of only two Black ballet dancers in her school’s advanced pointe class. She has spent a year preparing for a summer ballet intensive, but her dream and well-being are put at risk when a terrorist bombs a Washington, D.C., Metro station, and the perpetrator is incorrectly assumed to be Muslim, eliciting a sharp rise in Islamophobia across the country. After Sabriya accidentally posts her feelings about the bombing publicly, resulting in a viral blog she names You Truly Assumed, she bonds online with sheltered hijabi artist Zakat Umar and savvy computer science maven Farah Rafiq, who help run it. As it grows in popularity, the blog attracts Muslim young women globally, as well as an increasingly dangerous spate of alt-right visitors who threaten the teens’ peace on, and off, the internet. Despite a concept somewhat dated by the inclusion of blogs, Sabreen skillfully renders three inquisitive, if frequently naive, young women as distinctly characterized as they are united in purpose and faith. Through their alternating voices, she succeeds in relating the frustrating reality of having a part of one’s identity acknowledged at the expense of another, and the resilience and love required to persist despite unfounded hate. Ages 13–up. Agent: Kat Kerr, Donald Maass Literary.

  • Booklist

    January 1, 2022
    Grades 9-12 Sabreen's debut novel is a powerful exploration of sisterhood and standing up for oneself. Sabriya is an aspiring dancer in Virginia, whose world is turned upside down after a bomb is detonated in Washington, D.C. After the suspect's name is revealed, there is a rise in nationwide Islamophobia and microaggressions. Tired of being silent in the face of bigotry, Sabriya starts a blog with two other American Black Muslim teens, where they create community for other Muslim teens and address the uptick in racism and bigoted violence. While their blog, You Truly Assumed, proves to be a successful platform for building community, they are soon targeted by a hateful right-wing extremist group that threatens to take them down. Through the perspectives of three Black Muslim girls, Sabreen paints a beautiful coming-of-age tale as each girl must navigate relationships, school, and friendships while also moving through the world as a Black Muslim. With echoes of Ann Brashare's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, this is an endearing story of friendship and perseverance.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2022

    Gr 8 Up-Aspiring ballerina Sabriya's summer plans to audition for the American Ballet Theater (ABT) are derailed when a terrorist attack in DC hits way too close to home. Across the country, fellow Black Muslim teens Zakat and Farah are also dealing with a shift in plans: Zakat's childhood enemy has been hired to work at the Georgia bookstore where she is employed, and Farah is being sent from California to visit her father's new family in Massachusetts. When Sabriya's online journal post is accidentally made public, she takes the opportunity to start a blog she names "You Truly Assumed." When the blog goes viral, Zakat (an artist) and Farah (a fledgling programmer) join the admin team of the site, and together the girls create a safe online space for fellow Black Muslim teens to feel seen and heard. As the blog gains readers and recognition, hateful comments and threats build to a tipping point, and the trio must decide whether to back down in the face of cyberbullies or speak up about their experiences. Timely discussions of Islamophobia, racism, microaggressions, and the intersectionality of being both Black and Muslim in America will resonate with some readers and enlighten others. Though some aspects may seem a little too convenient (Sabriya willingly puts her plans to audition for the ABT off an entire year, which seems unrealistic for a dedicated dancer), each teen grows into her own throughout the novel and emerges stronger and more resilient, with a clearer picture of herself and those around her. VERDICT While this debut is a little thin on character development, the author is one to watch. Recommended for libraries serving teens.-Allie Stevens

    Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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