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Saints and Misfits

LIST PRICE $8.99

Saints and Misfits—a William C. Morris Award finalist and an Entertainment Weekly Best YA Book of the Year—is a “timely and authentic” (School Library Journal, starred review) debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

There are three kinds of people in my world:

1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose.

2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me—the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama’s-Boy-Muhammad.

Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds.

But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right?

3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories.

Like the monster at my mosque.

People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask.

Except me.

Photograph by Andrea Stenson

S. K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in The Toronto Star. Her family of Muslim scholars is consistently listed in the The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching. A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S. K. Ali’s YA novels are beautiful and nuanced stories about young women exploring their identities through friendship, family, and faith.

  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List High School Title
  • Nutmeg Book Award Nominee (CT)
  • NYPL Best Books for Teens
  • High School Sequoyah Book award Master List (OK)
  • TAYSHAS Reading List (TX)
  • APALA Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature
  • Amelia Bloomer Selection List - TOP TEN
  • Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Selection Title
  • ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults - Top Ten
  • ALA/William C. Morris Award Finalist
  • Isinglass Award Nominee

More books from this author: S. K. Ali