Skip to Main Content

Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream

Power Forward; On Point; Bounce Back

Illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
LIST PRICE $8.99

Discover the struggles and triumphs of fourth-grader Zayd Saleem as he pursues his dream of being a basketball star in this bind-up of the complete middle grade series from the acclaimed author of Amina’s Voice and More to the Story.

Zayd Saleem has serious hoop dreams. He’s going to be a basketball star. A legend. There are only a few small things in his way.

For starters, Zayd’s on the scrawny side and gets stomach aches when he’s nervous. He has to convince his coach that he has what it takes to join his best friend Adam on the elite Gold Team. His mom and dad want him to practice his violin way more than his jump shot. Plus, it doesn’t help that his older sister Zara is amazing at every sport she tries.

But Zayd has a lot going for him, too. His grandmother is willing to supply him with all the mango milkshakes he wants. His grandfather has a few tricks up the sleeve of his velour track suit. And his favorite uncle keeps Zayd laughing, even if it’s sometimes so hard he needs to pee. Zayd’s family, combined with his friends, teammates, and his own determination, means he’s got everything he needs to chase his dream. Will he reach it?

Photo (c) Havar Espedal

Hena Khan is a Pakistani American writer. She is the author of the middle grade novels Amina’s Voice, Amina’s Song, and More to the Story and picture books Golden Domes and Silver LanternsUnder My Hijab, and It’s Ramadan, Curious George, among others. Hena lives in her hometown of Rockville, Maryland, with her basketball-loving family. You can learn more about Hena and her books by visiting her website at HenaKhan.com or connecting with her @HenaKhanBooks.

Photograph by Coleman Sellers Photography

Sally Wern Comport has illustrated numerous picture books and novels, including Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Guiding Beliefs (as told by his niece)Brave Margaret: An Irish AdventureHanging Off Jefferson’s Nose: Growing Up on Mt. Rushmore; and the Spy Mice series. She has also translated her picture making skills to various large-scale public, private, and institutional artworks. Sally lives with her husband and two daughters in Annapolis, Maryland, where she operates Art at Large Inc. Learn more at ArtAtLargeInc.com.

PRAISE FOR THE SERIES

"Zayd is a sympathetic protagonist, and his story is told with humor and artfully filled with interesting cultural matter...Readers will cheer for Zayd."

– Kirkus Reviews

"Features a welcome diverse main character that will appeal to plenty of sports-loving readers."

– Booklist

"Readers will enjoy watching Zayd grow in his game, his maturity, and his changing family life...A solid read about being your best self on and off the court, with an appealing Muslim protagonist."

– Kirkus Reviews

"Zayd is a welcome character for young readers, who learns that one can be a team player even when facing personal challenges."

– Booklist

"With just enough action to keep readers turning the pages and a sprinkle of age-appropriate realizations throughout, this small book is a great pick for elementary-age readers....A delightful follow-up from a writer who understands children, family, and culture."

– Kirkus Reviews

A great balance between sports action and realistic fiction featuring the everyday life of a boy from a traditional Pakistani
family. Readers will look forward to further adventures featuring Zayd.

– Booklist

More books from this author: Hena Khan

More books from this illustrator: Sally Wern Comport

More books in this series: Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream