Diversity Spotlight Thursdays #9 – Muslim Protagonists


Welcome to my ninth Diversity Spotlight Thursday! This wonderful weekly blog meme was created and is hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks! For more information about the meme, please read the announcement post here.

My participation in this meme is to help me with one of my reading goals: to read books with a variety of perspectives, especially ones different from my own. Every two weeks I will share with you:

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

I wanted to do a theme for this week’s Diversity Spotlight – so this week’s theme is: books with Muslim protagonists!


A Book I Have Read

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!


This lovely graphic novel filled with me with so much hope and joy and love. I loved Kamala Khan as Ms Marvel, loved how it portrayed a teenage girl trying to balance her new extraordinary responsibilities with the ordinariness of school and parents.

More so, I really love that Kamala was Muslim, and how this was integrated – not thoughtlessly added – into her story and also her family life. Also, Kamala is a big nerd and I loved that – I related with her so much. I cannot wait to read more of Ms Marvel.

Add this book on Goodreads


A Book On My TBR

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

When sixteen-year-old Amal decides to wear the hijab full-time, her entire world changes, all because of a piece of cloth…

Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full- time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.

Can she handle the taunts of “towel head,” the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah’s debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.”


I want to read When Michael Met Mina, which is Abdel-Fattah’s other book, but this book sounds like an important and delightful read. I haven’t read a book that explores wearing a hijab — I recognize that there’s a gap when it comes to books by Muslim authors about Muslim protagonists, so I’ll have to fix that by reading this!

Add this book on Goodreads


A Book That Hasn’t Been Released Yet

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair.

When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand—a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube—they know it’s up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how.

Under the tutelage of a lizard guide named Henrietta Peel and an aeronaut Vijay, the Farah and her friends battle camel spiders, red scorpions, grease monkeys, and sand cats as they prepare to face off with the maniacal Lord Amari, the man behind the machine. Can they defeat Amari at his own game…or will they, like the children who came before them, become cogs in the machine?


I remember the first time I watched Jumanji – I cried my eyes out because I was terrified. Now, I have a fondness for that movie because it evoked such a strong reaction from me as a kid.

The Gauntlet sounds amazing. I love adventure books, particularly ones with unpredictable turns and twists and weird creatures. This book sounds like the sort of book I’d love to read. Also, the cover looks fantastic, ahhhhh.

The Gauntlet releases on March 28th – so in just 5 days! Keep this in your radar, as I’m certain that this will be a delightful read.

Add this book on Goodreads


Hooray, another Diversity Spotlight Thursday! I will be posting my next spotlight on the 6th of April!

  • Do you have any recommendations for books with Muslim protagonists, or books written by Muslim authors?
  • Have you read any of these books yet? If yes, what do you think? Should I be excited?
  • Did you participate in Diversity Spotlight Thursday this week? If so, please share your link with me! I’d love to see your three choices!

18 thoughts on “Diversity Spotlight Thursdays #9 – Muslim Protagonists

  1. Yesss, When Michael Met Mina is such an important read that I really enjoyed and so topical as well! I’ve read Ms Marvel and I loved how Kamala was Muslim, I wish there were more superheroes like this. Lovely feature CW!

    • Hi Jeann!
      Ooh wonderful! I definitely want to read it, except life is getting really (REALLY!) in the way at the moment.
      I know right?! I loved Kamala -after reading Ms Marvel I just wanted to draw all the fanart. <3

  2. Thank you for taking the time to put this together! I’m always on the lookout for more diverse books to add to my TBR, so thank you for putting these under my radar. Fabulous post! <3

  3. I love this post CW (and you can easily tell why, lol)! I haven’t read Ms. Marvel, but your review sounds amazing so I will check it out. I have Does My Head Look Big In This in my TBR too–even though I live in a country where 95% of the population are Muslims, there certainly was a LOT of reactions when I started wearing the hijab too–and I am really interested in seeing my experience reflected in a book.

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