Zara Hossain Is Here
Zara Hossain Is Here

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Annotation: Zara's family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. Bu... more
Catalog Number: #256152
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 244 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-338-58087-6 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-9177-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-338-58087-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-9177-9
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 22 cm
Language: English
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Pakistani Muslim Zara, an openly queer senior in Corpus Christi, Texas, handles not only being Muslim in post–9/11 America, but also being an immigrant.Contrary to assumptions, Zara’s family is wholly accepting of her bisexuality. Instead, it’s her girlfriend Chloe’s Christian family that’s having a hard time coming to terms with their daughter’s sexuality. Zara knows how to navigate the racism of her Catholic school classmates, but when bully Tyler starts harassing Maria, a new student from Colombia, she can’t stay silent—and Tyler wants revenge. After the family awakens one night to find a racist message defacing their garage, Abbu, Zara’s father, immediately heads to Tyler’s house, certain he is the perpetrator. In a twisted set of events, Abbu is shot by Tyler’s father, winding up in a coma while facing criminal charges for trespassing. The incident does more than just rattle the family: It directly threatens Abbu’s employment, their immigration status, and the notion that the U.S. could ever be a safe home. Khan unapologetically tackles prejudice in its various manifestations—anti-immigration, homophobia, Islamophobia—while simultaneously engaging openly with the complexities of accountability. The myriad forms of oppression the most vulnerable face in our society intersect in the character of Zara, challenging readers to ask what it means for some to feel at home in a country whose systems feel built to exclude them.A vivid account exploring issues many immigrant teens face. (Fiction. 13-18)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* On the surface, Zara Hossain's life appears as normal as that of most 17-year-olds: she has two incredibly loyal friends, parents who love and support her (even after she comes out as bisexual), and a girlfriend who shares her sentiments. But underneath, the strain of uncertainty wraps around Zara and her parents, all Muslim Pakistani immigrants who've been waiting for their green cards for eight years. Worse yet, Tyler e star football player at her school in Corpus Christi, Texas openly racist, and when his discriminatory remarks escalate to vandalizing the Hossains' home, it leads to a violent confrontation. Before they know it, Zara's family not only faces a health crisis, but their immigration status and the life they've sought for so long is in limbo. First, let's bask in the utterly refreshing fact that this Muslim, desi, non-hetero protagonist is accepted by her parents for a change at's huge! Coming off the emotional heels of The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali (2019), Khan pulls from her own immigration experience to convey how taxing the process is and how a criminal charge can send everything tumbling. The intensity of the Islamophobia the family experiences is viscerally described, and that, coupled with strong character relationships and succinct writing, establishes Khan as a powerful rising voice in YA.
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Starred Review ALA Booklist (4/1/21)
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 9-12

Zara's family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them.

Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family's dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.

But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara's house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara's entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she's ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.

From the author of the "heart-wrenching yet hopeful" (Samira Ahmed) novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, comes a timely, intimate look at what it means to be an immigrant in America today, and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate.

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