Na’ima B Robert to Publish YA novel with Kube

As some of you will know we are publishing Naima Robert’s next novel, which is titled SHE WORE RED TRAINERS.

It is a book about two young adults falling in love and their struggles to contain their feelings in order to uphold their faith. It is also a book that makes it clear that romance and religion are perfectly compatible.

We will have a sample chapter available soon.If you want to see it like please add a comment to this post.

In the meantime, take a look at the book cover and let us know your first impressions.

She Wore Red Trainers

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REFLECTIONS FROM THE CREATOR OF HILMY

Written by Rae Norridge
Originally posed on http://www.kubepublishing.com

Every year brings new challenges to us all, and every year we are that bit older. I ask myself, ‘Am I that bit wiser?’

I am in the fortunate position to travel and experience this beautiful world we live in. As an artist, my eyes are constantly seeking new colours, textures and subjects to paint. As an author, my mind searches for new tales to tell, drawing inspiration from the rich diversity nature has to offer. Sitting at a waterhole, with only the sound of the grass rustling in the wind and the constant chatter of the birds is an enriching experience for me. It gives me time to reflect on life.

Very often, in this busy world, we forget the simple rules and principles that make our lives, and the lives of our friends and families, more tolerant and peaceful.

I have written the Hilmy the Hippo series for young children, but I fervently hope that some adults can learn from Hilmy’s adventures too. For those who have not read the series, Hilmy is the central character in each book, and in each adventure that Hilmy undertakes, we learn a lesson in life. Although these stories are simply told, the message is deeply meaningful. I believe we all have a little bit of Hilmy in us. He reminds us of our own human frailties.

We live in a ‘quick fix’ world, the world of the remote control, the egotistical world of ‘this is me’ social network sites, the deceitful world of photo-shopping, the tragic world or cyber-bullying, and so the list goes on. We all need time to reflect on nature, to learn how to take time out from the pressures of the cyber world. Nature, in it’s simplicity, can give us the answers to the complexities of life.

A rhino is killed every nine-and-a-half hours in Africa. Elephants are poached for the greedy desire for ivory. Habitats are destroyed for logging, housing and industry. Should we continue this destruction of our beautiful planet?

We need, as parents and as adults, to take time to reflect on nature and to teach our children the importance of conserving the diminishing world of our natural environment.

In the Hilmy the Hippo series, I have tried to bring to life the characters and the habitat in which they live. I hope that these stories sew the seeds of caring for our environment, protecting and not exploiting endangered creatures like Hilmy and his friends.

Our children are growing up in a challenging world. We, as parents, need to guide them along the path to being caring and happy adults, and to share this beautiful planet with all Allah’s creatures.

The Great Race to Sycamore Street – Free reference sheet

9781847740571

The Great Race to Sycamore Street is a fun adventure story featuring two Muslim children. It is for children aged between 9 and 14, and will not only entertain them but give them some wonderful insights into the character of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and their faith.

In the story a prominent character is Grandma Hana’s peach tree. This famous and cherished tree is not only used to find fruit to fill one of Grandma Hana’s famous pies, it also offers the children Hude and Amani an example for themselves. In order to get the best fruit the tree must have firm roots, a strong trunk, several branches and an abundance of leaves. And, similarly in order for people to have good character they must have firm belief at their root, a strong faith in the oneness of Allah, and the Prophethood of Muhammad, perform several acts that testify to their faith and belief such as prayer, fasting and giving charity, and follow the abundant actions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), our guide. If people have those features their fruits will be good character, such as such patience, honesty, kindness and generosity. Even when faced with nasty neighbours!

The Great Race to Sycamore Street also sees Hude and Amani challenged by their Grandma Hana to follow the example of the Prophet (pbuh), his Sunnah. She encourages them to be kind to their neighbour’s dog after it eats their cookies, to be quick to calm and slow to anger when faced with bullying, practice archery and be good to neighbours, even if they aren’t nice to you.  By the end of the story Hude and Amani are challenging each other to act in these exemplary ways.

Specific verses in the Qur’an and ahadith (plural of hadith) are mentioned in The Great Race to Sycamore Street because Muslim parents and guardians often refer to these two sources when instructing children on how to behave and what constitutes good character. Hence, we are providing the references below to share with readers in case they wish to find the original sources that inspired the author themselves.

 

To download the free Qur’an and Hadith references please click the link below.

The Great Race to Sycamore Street – hadith and quran references

Book Review: Snow White An Islamic Tale

By Kirkus Reviews (paywall)

SNOW WHITE_cov

In this version, the heroine is pious as well as pretty.

Here the setting is Anatolia (in Turkey), which looks similar to a European landscape. Snow White is not a princess, but she still has a jealous stepmother who sends a huntsman to kill her. Seven female dwarfs, all kind and religious, find the girl on their doorstep after the huntsman refuses to do the evil deed. It may sound more or less like the usual story, but the poisoned apple becomes poisoned dates, the fruit that traditionally breaks the Ramadan fast. The poisoned fruit is not dislodged from the girl’s throat when servants stumble, carrying her glass coffin to the prince’s palace (as in Grimm). Nor does the prince kiss Snow White (as in Disney). Here, the prince’s mother and a doctor awaken her with medicine and prayer. The gruesome Grimm ending changes, as it does in many children’s versions, though with a twist: Snow White grants mercy to her evil stepmother and recites a verse from the Quran. Such verses are quoted throughout the text, with references provided. The full-color watercolors, with some Anatolian details in clothing and household goods, are attractive, but the faces are sometimes awkward. Snow White (not quite beautiful) and the stepmother don’t always look the same on different pages.

Created for religious Muslim children, this may be of interest to institutions or families seeking such materials. (glossary) (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-9)

An interview with Mehded Maryam Sinclair

An interview with Mehded Maryam Sinclair

Please tell us a little about yourself and how you became a children’s author.

I re-discovered the power of story thirty years ago when my sons were toddlers. That led me to using story as a therapeutic technique when I later worked as a therapist in an adolescent alcohol and drug abuse treatment center. This work paved the way to a fourteen-year career as a touring and teaching storyteller in the US with the Vermont Council on the Arts. From there I reverted to Islam, around 20 years ago, and since then I have been very interested in the work of serving the Muslim community by researching what has been lost and writing with a new eye stories that are edifying and inspiring and reflect the Truth.

When Wings Expand is your latest book. Tell us a bit about it.

Wings is a journal of a well-loved Muslim girl whose mother is dying of breast-cancer. She names her journal, a gift from her mother, and then chronicles her days as one would to a trusted friend for the next two years. We learn from her how it feels to anticipate, then experience, then grieve and then recover, and we witness how she is able to share her newfound capacities with a girl in dire need of help.

What was your inspiration for When Wings Expand?

Alhamdulillah I was given experiences of death to learn from. My mother died when I was fifteen, my brother died just after I delivered my second son, and my dear friend died six years after that. These were all deaths among non-Muslims before I reverted to Islam. After I became Muslim and began to learn more about the truth of death, I wanted to explore that in greater depth and started writing this work as a story. At that time it wasn’t a journal, and I hadn’t covered much of the main character’s struggle and grieving. I showed it to the then-Kube children’s editor Fatima D’Oyen, and she suggested turning it into a journal and focusing more on grief and healing. This frightened me, I must say, and I had to live through a few more years looking inward and studying before I could finish the writing.

The book presents an affirmation of faith, rather than the typical crisis of faith, after a life-changing event. Was this intentional?

Yes, it was. Most of what gets published is about the crises of faith and the failures of faith. That is actually a very one-sided picture. I wanted to give a view of the felicity, aid and peace that comes with being committed to taking the Deen as it has been prescribed rather than the way we think it should be. Those are the stories that sometimes get ignored in the current marketplace atmosphere. And yet people want and really need those stories, maybe even more than the sensational ones, which reinforce a prevalent world-view of cynicism.

Do you have any future plans for more Muslim books?

Please make dua for me! I want to finish two other projects, young-adult novels of historical fiction based on the history that has been lost and obliterated.

Pictures from a Dawud Wharnsby roadie

Greetings of Peace,

Dawud Wharnsby was traversing the Midlands, Lancashire and Glasgow in June, bringing his unique blend of song, sketch and spiritual show to children and adults.

Some photos of each event are online and can be viewed at our Flickr account. http://www.flickr.com/photos/65927580@N04/sets/72157630386930568/

If you attended any of the events and want to leave some feedback it would be wonderful to hear about your experience.

Book Cover Exclusive – Dr Hany El Banna: A Servant to the World’s Poorest People

The release of a new book by Suma Din (author of Turning the Tide) is approaching and we have great pleasure in revealing its cover! The book, titled Dr Hany El Banna: A Servant to the World’s Poorest People, will be published by Kube in the next month and forms part of a new non-fiction series for teens: Muslims in the Modern World.

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Dawud Wharnsby’s new children’s book

At Kube we have the absolute privilege to announce the impending release of Dawud Wharnsby’s new book, A Picnic of Poems, in the coming months.

To give you all a special insight, Dawud has put together this beautiful video sample.

I’ve seen it, read it and listened to one of the final songs from the FREE CD and it is, mashallah, brilliant. We’ll keep you posted and try to bring you some samples over the next few weeks.

Wasalam

Interview with Imam Munieb — founder of The Victory Boys

Salam and hello all,

Kube, under the Islamic Foundation imprint,  are releasing a book called The Victory Boys soon and we wanted to introduce you to one of its stars, Imam Munieb.

Imam Munieb with Saleem

Imam Munieb is unique. He is responsible for starting the football team, Shabab Al-Nasr, otherwise known as The Victory Boys. A very brave decision, especially considering the extent of his knowledge of ‘the beautiful game’. We have an exclusive interview with the man himself below. I’m sure you will enjoy it!

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Book cover exclusive – The Victory Boys by Jamal Orme (Coming Soon)

Salam and Hello.

Today we have another book cover exclusive for you; The Victory Boys.

The Victory Boys – blurb:

‘Junayd and his friends think madrasa is a waste of time, and older brother Saleem is fast becoming the black sheep of the family. That is, until the Imam of the mosque initiates and extra-curricular project outside his comfort zone. But can faith and football flourish side-by-side?’

Keep checking back to find out more about the Imam’s views on the sport of football and more…this is just the beginning.

The Victory Boys will be available from the end of May.

Jazakallah / Thanks