Mexican-American writer and poet Mark Gonzales’s Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter To His Daughter hits bookstores this week. It was among the first acquisitions of Salaam Reads – a Simon & Schuster imprint which focuses on Muslim themed picture and chapter books for children and young adults.
The book deals with Mr. Gonzales real-life daughter, Sirat, and her many different cultural identities that as a Muslim, Latino, Tunisian, and American. Illustrator Mehrdokht Amini adds vibrant pictures to the 32-page picture book. The book’s title, which translates to “I am Muslim,” is, according to Good Education, “intended for children growing up in a social context steeped in Islamophobia and xenophobia.”
Good Education says that Yo Soy Muslim is written in elegant verse, each phrase an affirmation intended for Gonzales’ daughter, as well as those like her: young Muslim children growing up in America. Already, Mr. Gonzales sees his daughter empowered by the image of herself represented in the book. “We shared an excerpt at a gathering, and she went up on stage and was like, ‘My turn. My mic,’” he says, adding. “That’s the power of being the center of your narrative.”