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When a Brown Girl Flees

September 19

When a Brown Girl Flees cover. This illustrated cover features a collage of objects, like the NYC skyline, a bridge, flowers, coffee cups, a mosque, a book and pen, flowers, and a pair of people holding hands. In the foreground, a girl where a long, green hijab, a pink shirt, and jeans, has her back to the viewer while she looks at the collage.When a Brown Girl Flees by Aamna Qureshi
Tu Books

After Zahra Paracha makes a decision at odds with her beliefs, her mother forces Zahra to make an impossible choice about her future. So Zahra runs away. A train and a plane ride later, she finds herself in New York, where she relinquishes her past in favor of a new future. There, she must learn who she is without the marionette strings of control in her mother’s hands. There, she must learn who she wishes to become.

On Long Island, Zahra stays at a bed & breakfast, unsure of her place in the world. Anxious, depressed, and grappling with guilt, she wanders aimlessly. She eventually visits the local masjid, where she is befriended by two sisters and drawn into the welcoming Muslim community there.

It is in this place of safety that Zahra’s healing truly begins–but can she create a home for herself when the foundation is built on lies she’s spun to protect her from the past? When a family friend recognizes her, will everything come crashing down? As Zahra tries to build a life for herself in this new place, the heart of the matter becomes clear: she can’t run away forever. Can she close the rift in her family and truly, fully heal?

In this powerful novel from new voice Aamna Qureshi, a Muslim teen goes on a breathtaking journey to find her home and–more importantly–herself.


September 19
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