Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi

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By Reem Faruqi, Harper Collins, Hardcover, 336 pages

From the award-winning, ALA Notable author of Unsettled and Lailah's Lunchbox, this is a captivating coming-of-age middle grade novel in verse about seventh grader Aafiyah Qamar, a Pakistani American girl who hatches a special plan to help her family but finds that doing what's right isn't always easy. For fans of The Thing About Jellyfish and Clean Getaway, this is a heartfelt, soul-searching story with laughter, hope, and lessons learned.

Seventh grader Aafiyah loves playing tennis, reading Weird but True facts, and hanging out with her best friend, Zaina. However, Aafiyah has a bad habit that troubles her--she's drawn to pretty things and can't help but occasionally "borrow" them.

But when her father is falsely accused of a crime he hasn't committed and gets taken in by authorities, Aafiyah knows she needs to do something to help. When she brainstorms a way to bring her father back, she turns to her Weird but True facts and devises the perfect plan.

But what if her plan means giving in to her bad habit, the one she's been trying to stop? Aafiyah wants to reunite her family but finds that maybe her plan isn't so perfect after all. . .

Faruqi's beautifully observed and page-turning novel in verse overflows with compassion, honesty, and hope. --Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor author of The Night Diary

Faruqi proves herself once again a master of middle grade verse novels. Golden Girl is a phenomenal story loaded with heart and hope." --Adrianna Cuevas, author of the Pura Belpré honor book The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez, Cuba in My Pocket, and The Ghosts of Rancho Espanto

"A story that sends an important message--that people who make bad choices are not bad people." --Padma Venkatraman, Walter Award-winning author of The Bridge Home