Accidental Trouble Magnet (Planet Omar #1)

by Zanib Mian (Author) Nasaya Mafaridik (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Planet Omar

An exciting #OwnVoices middle-grade debut starring a Muslim boy with a huge imagination

Welcome to the imaginative brain of Omar!

Omar and his family have just moved, and he is NOT excited about starting at a new school. What if the work is too hard or the kids are mean or the teacher is a zombie alien?!

But when Omar makes a new best friend, things start looking up. That is, until a Big Mean Bully named Daniel makes every day a nightmare! Daniel even tells Omar that all Muslims are going to be kicked out of the country . . . Could that possibly be true?

Luckily, Omar's enormous imagination and goofy family help him get through life's ups and downs.

Omar's funny, relatable narrative is the perfect answer to the call for both mirrors and windows to fill bookshelves with diverse stories.


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Publishers Weekly

Originally released in the U.K. as The Muslims, Mian's middle grade debut features some stock elements: after his family moves, Omar fears he won't make friends at his new school and that his teacher will be a space alien, is vexed that he's targeted by bully Daniel, and gets frustrated that his teenage sister has become a "snitch." In Omar's daily life and close-knit Muslim family, religion plays a focal role. His narrative incidentally relays--with readers and with his new friend, Charlie--the prayers his family says daily; fasting, feasting, and other rituals of Ramadan; and his scientist mother's commitment to wearing hijab. Mian also credibly integrates Omar's hurtful experiences with prejudice, as when Daniel tells the boy that "the worst thing about you" is "You're Muslim.... You better go back to your country before we kick you all out" (Daniel adjusts his attitude and Omar learns the genesis of Daniel's bitterness). Yet the dominant tone of wildly imaginative Omar's free-association narrative, laced with expressive hand lettering and Mafaridik's playfully exaggerated line art, remains chipper and uplifting. Ages 8-12. (Feb.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 3-6—When Omar's family moves to a new house, that means the 10-year-old must start the year at a new school. Omar is nervous because he thinks he will stand out as the new kid and because he is Muslim. Luckily for Omar, he has a great teacher and makes a new friend, Charlie, right away. But Omar and Charlie become the target of a bully, Daniel, who seems to dislike Omar for no other reason than he is Muslim. Daniel even goes as far as saying that all Muslims will be kicked out of the country. When Omar and Daniel are thrown together into a scary situation, the boys learn more about each other and realize that maybe they don't have to be enemies. Told from Omar's point of view, the playful text is bolstered with illustrations throughout that show off his creativity and imagination. VERDICT A great #OwnVoices story for children to learn more about connection and empathy.—Jayna Ramsey, Douglas County Libraries in Parker, CO

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

★ "In their #OwnVoices debut, Mian and Mafaridik create a relatable and hilarious story . . . Exploding with personality and imagination, Omar is an easy character to love." -Booklist, starred review

A very kid-friendly and appealingly honest story about being different, being labeled 'other.' —The New York Times Book Review

"Wildly imaginative Omar's free-association narrative, laced with expressive hand lettering and Mafaridik's playfully exaggerated line art, remains chipper and uplifting." -Publishers Weekly

"Mian seamlessly weaves Islamic values and teachings through Omar's chatty narration . . . Readers will be excited to see where Omar's imagination will take him next." —Kirkus Reviews

"The playful text is bolstered with illustrations throughout that show off [Omar's] creativity and imagination. A great #OwnVoices story for children to learn more about connection and empathy." -School Library Journal

"Elementary school readers will find both a funny, relatable new companion and a primer on Muslim family life with the start of this series. . . Mafaridik's cartoony artwork and illustrative lettering visualize Omar's imagination." — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Zanib Mian
Zanib Mian was a science teacher before launching a small independent publisher, Muslim Children's Books. Passionate about representation in children's publishing, she is on the panel of judges for the prestigious Young Muslim Writers Awards.

Nasaya Mafaridik is based in Indonesia. Self-taught, she has a passion for children's books and bright, colourful stationery.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780593109212
Lexile Measure
820L
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publisher
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date
February 20, 2020
Series
Planet Omar

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