Monday, July 2, 2018

Power Forward (Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream #1) by Hena Khan

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Middle-Grade Monday! Today I have a great middle-grade read that focuses on family and basketball. It is Power Forward (Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream #1), by Hena Khan. It is a part of the Simon & Schuster children's imprint, Salaam Reads. An imprint that aims to introduce readers to a wide variety of Muslim children and families and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in the media.

The Story-
Fourth grader Zayd Saleem wants to make the gold basketball team and play with his best friend Adam. His mother and father want him to keep playing the violin in the youth orchestra. He wants to be a star, a legend, the first Pakistani-American kid in the NBA. To achieve his goal, he begins skipping early morning violin practice and starts hitting the courts to practice.

When his mom finds out, watch out! He is not only grounded from playing basketball, but from watching it on TV or even speaking about it. Instead he has to double down on his violin. His grounding last through the try-outs, so he needs to somehow show his parents that his quest to play basketball is worthwhile, and gather the courage to stand up for his dreams.

My Thoughts-

This is a great, easy read for middle graders. It is the first part in a series of books about Zayd and his quest to become a famous basketball player. He lives a typical life, full of family and school. The reader gets a peek at the closeness of his Muslim family and how they love and work together.

I enjoyed reading the story and watching Zayd struggle with the typical problem of achieving  his dreams versus his parents ideas. Kids will relate to his struggles, his friendships and social problems. This book will be of interest to anyone who wants to learn about another culture, who loves basketball, or who is eight years old or older. 4 stars!


  1. Kids always gravitate toward basketball books and this one has a great premise. I'll be looking to read this myself. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great theme combination: culture and a popular sport. Great to read your comments.

  3. Thanks for your review. This one really isn't up by alley, but it's good to know about it.

  4. thanks for checking out my post:)

  5. I've got a copy and can't wait to read it--especially now that you've recommended it! (besides, North Carolina is heaven for basketball lovers)

  6. I really want to read Hena Khan's novel! Glad that it focuses on Muslim youth trying to follow their dreams.