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Sun, 23 May


Online Event

Coming of Age in YA Literature

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Coming of Age in YA Literature
Coming of Age in YA Literature

Time & Location

23 May 2021, 15:00 – 16:00 BST

Online Event

About the Event

From romance, to racism and islamophobia, to mental health, belonging, and history, S.K Ali (Love From A to Z), Sabina Khan (Zara Hossain is Here/The Love and Lies of Rukshana Ali), and Hanna Alkaf (The Weight of Our Sky) explore the different facets of growing up, and YA novels as spaces of recognition, reflection, and remembrance for young Muslims. Chaired by Dr Sofia Rehman, academic and founder of Leeds Lit Club.


This event will have BSL interpretation. Please contact us with any additional accessibility needs - we are committed to making our events as accessible as possible.


Hanna Alkaf is the author of the Freeman Award-winning THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY (Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster) and the Kirkus Prize finalist THE GIRL AND THE GHOST (HarperCollins). She graduated with a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and spent over ten years writing everything from B2B marketing emails to investigative feature articles, from non-profit press releases to corporate brochures. She now spends her time making it up as she goes along, both as an author of fiction and as a mom. Hanna lives in Kuala Lumpur with her family. Her next book is the upcoming YA mystery QUEEN OF THE TILES (Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster 2022).

S. K. Ali is the author of Saints and Misfits, a finalist for the American Library Association's 2018 William C.Morris award, winner of the APALA Honor Award and Middle East Book Honor Award, and Love from A to Z, an NBC Today Show's "Read with Jenna'' Book Club selection. Both novels were critically acclaimed and named best YA books of the year by various media including Entertainment Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. Her newest novel, Misfit in Love, comes out on May 25. Sajidah is also the co-editor of the critically acclaimed middle-grade anthology Once Upon an Eid, and co-author of the New York Times bestselling picture book, The Proudest Blue. She has a degree in Creative Writing from York University and lives in Toronto with her family, which includes a very vocal cat named Yeti.

Sabina Khan is the author of  ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE (Scholastic/ April 6, 2021) and THE LOVE & LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI (Scholastic, 2019). She is an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast. After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, two daughters and the best puppy in the world.

Dr Sofia Rehman is an academic specialising in Islam and Gender. When she is not reading books for research, she is reading them for pleasure. She is the founder and co-ordinator of Leeds Lit Book Club which is now in its 7th year. During the global pandemic she launched the Islam and Gender read alongs in which she facilitates readings of academic texts penned by Muslim female scholars in conversation with a global virtual audience. She is also a contributor to Mapping Faith: Theologies of Migration edited by Lia Shimada and to the upcoming anthology Cut From The Same Cloth? edited by Sabeena Akhtar, as well as having a publication of her own due out with Kube Publications. You can connect with her on her Instagram @Sofia_reading where she talks about all things related to books, faith and academia.

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