Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 11
- Grade: 3 to 6
- Reading age: 8 to 11
Eight-year-old Khadija, her older brother, Hamza, and their parents have just arrived in Canada from Pakistan. In their classrooms on the first day of school Khadija and Hamza are confronted by a sea of unfamiliar faces. Everyone looks so different from the way they did back home.
At first Khadija and Hamza feel left out at recess, and they both become the targets of school bullies. It's really hard to have to speak English all day long. And Khadija just can't figure out how to get enough water out of the drinking fountain. Hamza, in particular, misses everything about Pakistan -- his friends, his school and his grandmother. But gradually, Khadija and Hamza find new friends and begin to feel more at home.
About the authors
Rukhsana Khan was born in Lahore, Pakistan and immigrated to Canada, with her family, at the age of three. She grew up in the small town of Dundas, Ontario. Rukhsana once asked her mother what her name meant. Her mother said it was the name of a queen and it meant ‘girl with rosy cheeks’. When Rukhsana grew up she wanted to change her name to something else but her family urged her not to. They said it suited her well. To many people her name sounds like "Roxanne". Roxanne was the legendary queen of Alexander the Great, who is also a well known historical figure in Asian countries, so it could very well be the same name. Rukhsana began by writing for community magazines and went on to write songs and stories for the Adam's World children's videos. She currently has seven books published and others under contract. Napoleon has published Muslim Child, the rights to which have also been sold in the United States to Albert Whitman and Co. Her next book for Napoleon, Many Windows, will be published in 2008. Rukhsana is a member of SCBWI, The Writers Union of Canada, CANSCAIP, Storytellers of Canada, and the Storytelling School of Toronto. She tells tales of India, Persia and the Middle East, as well as her own stories. She lives in Toronto with her husband and family. She has four children: three girls and a boy.
Nasrin Khosravi was a world-renowned illustrator of children's books. Born in Tehran, Iran, she graduated from Tehran University in graphic and fine arts, taught illustration at Honar University and illustrated more than thirty-five books for children. She also exhibited her paintings in solo and group exhibitions in many countries, receiving honors in Italy, Germany, Iran, Austria, India, France, Spain and Slovakia. Nasrin won the Grand Prize at the Noma Concours in Japan and was selected as best illustrator at the Tehran International Biennial of Illustration for the paintings that now appear in this new version of the Thumbelina story. She was also nominated for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and the UNICEF Ezra Jack Keats Award. She spent her last years painting, and living with her family in Canada.
A New LifeEight-year-old Khadija, her older brother, Hamza, and their parents have come to Canada from Pakistan. They struggle and learn while they adjust to a new language, a new society and life in a new country. Khadija and Hamza initially are targets of school bullies but then make friends and begin to feel more at ease in their new home.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.