Books about Muslim kids needed 'urgently', says Salaam Reads editor

Salaam Reads, a new children's book imprint from publisher Simon and Schuster, spotlights Muslim characters and stories.
Salaam Reads, a new children's book imprint from publisher Simon and Schuster, zooms in on Muslim characters and stories. (Simon and Schuster)

Zareen Jaffery vividly remembers the stories she read as a kid; but, book after book, she noticed something. None of the characters looked like her. 

Jaffery, a Pakistani-American and Muslim,  wants this generation's children to have a different experience. And she's in a position to make it happen. 

"I think I might be the only [Muslim] acquiring editor in all of U.S. mainstream publishing," she says.  

Today she joins Shad to discuss Simon and Schuster's new imprint, Salaam Readsdedicated to showcasing Muslim characters and stories. She also reflects on the importance of walking the walk when it comes to telling diverse stories, and why the resulting books aren't just for Muslim kids. 

RELATED | Canadian author Ausma Zehanat Khan was on the show earlier this month to bust myths about Muslims in popular culture. Her unlikely vehicle? The mystery novel. Listen here. 


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