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🎧 The Reader's Heart | Guest: Saadia Faruqi


One of the things I love most about The Reader's Heart is being able to hear authors and illustrators share the reasons why they choose to write books for young people. I won't lie, I often have guesses about what inspires them, but even if those theories are partially correct, they don't hold a candle to hearing the actual origin stories themselves. I found this to be especially true during my conversation with Saadia Faruqi whose goals as a writer of over 40 (!) books for young people include making sure that library shelves are full of stories in which everyone can see themselves as the hero. I loved chatting with Saadia - who I've been a fan of for a long time. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did!



  • GUEST: Saadia Faruqi

Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American author and interfaith activist. She writes the popular children’s early reader series “Yasmin” and other books for children, including chapter books, graphic novels, and picture books. Her middle grade novels include “A Place At The Table” co-written with Laura Shovan (a Sydney Taylor Notable 2021), “A Thousand Questions” (a South Asia Book Award Honor 2021) and “Yusuf Azeem Is Not A Hero”. Her first graphic novel “Saving Sunshine” was a Kirkus Best Book in 2023. Saadia is editor-in-chief of Blue Minaret, a magazine for Muslim art, poetry and prose, and was featured in Oprah Magazine in 2017 as a woman making a difference in her community. She lives in Houston, TX with her husband and children.



Please enjoy a special discount of 20% off the titles mentioned in this episode (or others of your choice) by visiting Bookelicious and using the code JENNIFERLAGARDE. Note: I do not make any money from the sales, but I am delighted that you get to save some!

Connect with Saadia:


Rooted in the belief that our world needs the magic of children’s literature now more than ever, the Reader’s Heart podcast captures conversations with authors and illustrators about children's literature as a vehicle for empathy and joy in a dark world. I'm so excited about this project and it's my wish that it brings you as much light and hope as it has brought me.

Special thanks to Corinna Luyken for creating the beautiful illustration that will serve as the show's logo. I've always found Corinna's art so moving and she perfectly captured the spirit of what I am trying to do, which is to put warmth and love into the world during a time when so many are working to limit kids' access to the warmth and love inherent in children's literature. (Also, don't forget, you can use the discount above to buy Corinna's books from Bookelicious, too!)

Weekly episodes will drop on Tuesdays. Once you've had a chance to listen, I hope you will consider leaving The Reader's Heart a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review! Podcast reviews are one of the best ways to support your favorite shows and help others find these conversations.



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