Book Review: Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices

Amulet Books
TBP: May 5th, 2020
272 Pages

Eid: The short, single-syllable word conjures up a variety of feelings and memories for Muslims. Maybe it’s waking up to the sound of frying samosas or the comfort of bean pie, maybe it’s the pleasure of putting on a new outfit for Eid prayers, or maybe it’s the gift-giving and holiday parties to come that day.

Whatever it may be, for those who cherish this day of celebration, the emotional responses may be summed up in another short and sweet word: joy. The anthology will also include a poem, graphic-novel chapter, and spot illustrations.- Goodreads

I did not convert to Islam until I was in my twenties. However, for years as a teen I identified as a Muslim as my parents were studying and taught my siblings what they learned. With that being said, I want to note that although I have never experienced the Muslim way of life as a teenager, I felt extremely connected to this book as an adult.

These stories are simple yet complicated and have an extreme depth of emotion. They are not only reflective but informative. Each author adds in information about Islam that I was extremely happy to see.

But what stood out to me in the most surprising and wonderful way was to see Black stories. What I mean by this is the first story within this novel is about a Bi-racial girl spending time with the African side of her family (this was written by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow). Having this as the first story was powerful and intended as stories about Black Muslims are rarely heard. I appreciated it as well as seeing other Black authors within this book ( Candice Montgomery and Ashley Franklin).

Before writing this review, I sat and thought about what was my favorite story and it was Perfect by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, Generous by Asmaa Hussein and Searching for Blue by N.H. Senzai. All the stories within this book were amazing but these three stood out. All the stories connected with a theme of well obviously about EID but about growth, love, and self-discovery. It flowed very well.

Overall, there is nothing that I didn’t love about this book and I am so happy I was able to read it.

4 Pickles

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