More to the Story
From the critically acclaimed author of Amina’s Voice comes a new story inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic, Little Women, featuring four sisters from a modern American Muslim family living in Georgia.When Jameela Mirza is picked to be feature editor of her middle school newspaper, she’s one step closer to being an award-winning journalist like her late grandfather. The problem is her editor-in-chief keeps shooting down her article ideas. Jameela’s assigned to write about the new boy in school, who has a cool British accent but doesn’t share much, and wonders how she’ll make his story gripping enough to enter into a national media contest. Jameela, along with her three sisters, is devastated when their father needs to take a job overseas, away from their cozy Georgia home for six months. Missing him makes Jameela determined to write an epic article—one to make her dad extra proud. But when her younger sister gets seriously ill, Jameela’s world turns upside down. And as her hunger for fame looks like it might cost her a blossoming friendship, Jameela questions what matters most, and whether she’s cut out to be a journalist at all...

More to the Story Details

TitleMore to the Story
Author
ReleaseSep 3rd, 2019
PublisherSalaam Reads / Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781481492096
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Family

More to the Story Review

  • CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
    January 1, 1970
    An incredibly wholesome and wonderful middle-grade story about illness, pursuing your ambitions, and family and sisterhood.- Follows Jameela, a Pakistani Muslim girl who has to deal with some pretty tough stuff in her family while also taking on the big responsibility of being features editor at her school's newspaper.- At its heart, this is a story about sisters and family, and how we get through tough times together and by supporting each other.- The story also explores friendship, and how our An incredibly wholesome and wonderful middle-grade story about illness, pursuing your ambitions, and family and sisterhood.- Follows Jameela, a Pakistani Muslim girl who has to deal with some pretty tough stuff in her family while also taking on the big responsibility of being features editor at her school's newspaper.- At its heart, this is a story about sisters and family, and how we get through tough times together and by supporting each other.- The story also explores friendship, and how our ambitions can sometimes hurt the genuine relationships we have with others. I think this book explores Jameela's mistake wonderfully, and in a way that is empathetic with great lessons.- Although this story deals with illness (specifically lymphoma) and no one dies, this book was so wholesome and lovely, and is mostly about what we can to help and support the people we love through a tough time.Trigger/content warning: (view spoiler)[cancer (lymphoma), side character's death of parent, racist microaggressions (challenged) (hide spoiler)]
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  • Abby Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    This heartfelt, contemporary story about four Muslim American sisters in Georgia was inspired by Little Women and is a really fun read for fans of that classic book. I loved picking out the imaginative ways that Hena Khan paid homage to Little Women in updated, realistic ways. Instead of getting upset about missing out on the theater, for example, the youngest sister feels it's unfair that her sisters get phones and she doesn't have one yet. Hand this to fans of family stories that center around This heartfelt, contemporary story about four Muslim American sisters in Georgia was inspired by Little Women and is a really fun read for fans of that classic book. I loved picking out the imaginative ways that Hena Khan paid homage to Little Women in updated, realistic ways. Instead of getting upset about missing out on the theater, for example, the youngest sister feels it's unfair that her sisters get phones and she doesn't have one yet. Hand this to fans of family stories that center around sibling relationships like Jeanne Birdsall's THE PENDERWICKS or Dana Levy's THE MISADVENTURES OF THE FAMILY FLETCHER. Young readers interested in writing or journalism are also a great audience for this book.
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  • Surina
    January 1, 1970
    You all remember Hena Khan? The author who captured all of our hearts with Amina’s Voice? Well, she’s back with another book, and it’s just as powerful as the first one. In More to the Story, readers get to meet Jameela (Jam) Miraz, a determined aspiring journalist, and her family and tag along for the wild ride that is Jam’s seventh grade year.And what a wild ride it is. Jam and her family have to deal with so much – Jam’s father has to move overseas for work, her mother has to work extra hours You all remember Hena Khan? The author who captured all of our hearts with Amina’s Voice? Well, she’s back with another book, and it’s just as powerful as the first one. In More to the Story, readers get to meet Jameela (Jam) Miraz, a determined aspiring journalist, and her family and tag along for the wild ride that is Jam’s seventh grade year.And what a wild ride it is. Jam and her family have to deal with so much – Jam’s father has to move overseas for work, her mother has to work extra hours, and on top of all of that, what Jam thought was just a passing illness in her younger sister turns out to be something much more serious. And Jam’s trying her best to write a newspaper article to win a competition and make her father proud, but it might’ve just cost her a new friend. Everything seems to be falling apart, and Jam doesn’t know what to do – you can’t help but root for her as she tries to navigate the mess her life has become.The best part of this book is, without a doubt, Jam’s relationships with the people around her. Her relationships with her sisters will especially have you crying into your pillow. The four of them – Jam, Bisma, Aleeza, and Maryam – are the true embodiment of siblings. They exasperate one another, they frustrate one another (except for Bisma – she’s the literal embodiment of human sunshine), but they always support one another and are there for each other. When their father goes overseas, they realize how hard it will be for all of them, so they rally together to help their mom manage.Amid all this, the sisters also find time to befriend Ali, a British Pakastani boy new to the U.S. Jam’s budding friendship (flirtationship?!) with Ali was adorable. As they begin to hang out more and more, he and Jam grow closer, especially after the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper asks her to interview him. The way they learn from one another and how they become better people because of it is guaranteed to give you all the feels.Hena Khan has once again created the perfect middle-grade book, one guaranteed to sweep its readers up into the story. With its lovable main character, crazy big family, and cute friendships, More to the Story is, definitely, a book you must not miss.Representation // Muslim Pakastani-American main character, Muslim Pakastani-American side characters, Muslim Pakastani-British side character
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  • AJ
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a lovely book about four sisters in a Muslim family dealing with some difficult things! I loved the main character, Jameela, and her relationship with everyone in her family. From her over-protectiveness of Bisma, to her constant fights with her youngest sister, Aleeza. I also loved how passionate Jameela was about writing and journalism. All the other characters were also fantastic tbh. Even though the book is fairly short, all the characters were well-developed! I especially love This was such a lovely book about four sisters in a Muslim family dealing with some difficult things! I loved the main character, Jameela, and her relationship with everyone in her family. From her over-protectiveness of Bisma, to her constant fights with her youngest sister, Aleeza. I also loved how passionate Jameela was about writing and journalism. All the other characters were also fantastic tbh. Even though the book is fairly short, all the characters were well-developed! I especially loved Ali, and his relationship with all of the sisters. It's so rare to see good rep for Muslim boys in fiction, and Ali was the sweetest!I highly recommend this one!
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  • Dee Dee G
    January 1, 1970
    Great story with an ending I didn’t see coming.
  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    Although based on Louisa May Alcott's beloved Little Women, Hena Khan's juvenile fiction novel takes readers on a journey that's both new and informative. Following the antics of a close-knit American Muslim family, readers will learn about culture, customs, and holidays that give a sense of purpose and meaning to a group that is often misrepresented and misunderstand. Books can serve as windows to another culture and even create empathy. That's just what More to the Story does. Fan's of Little Although based on Louisa May Alcott's beloved Little Women, Hena Khan's juvenile fiction novel takes readers on a journey that's both new and informative. Following the antics of a close-knit American Muslim family, readers will learn about culture, customs, and holidays that give a sense of purpose and meaning to a group that is often misrepresented and misunderstand. Books can serve as windows to another culture and even create empathy. That's just what More to the Story does. Fan's of Little Women may enjoy this new, modern tale, but it's also a must read for fans of Wendy Mass and Raina Telgemeier.I was fortunate to receive a free ARC of this book from Netgalley. The above thoughts, insights, or recommendations are my own meek musings.
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  • Monica Fumarolo
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this modern retelling of Little Women, this time centering on a quartet of Pakistani-American sisters growing up in Georgia (the state, not the country). Given the way it was described in a few review journals, I wasn’t sure if this was going to read too young for my middle school students, but I was over the moon to discover this is one of those rare novels in which the characters ARE in middle school and it reads at that level! This will be joining my school library’s collec I absolutely loved this modern retelling of Little Women, this time centering on a quartet of Pakistani-American sisters growing up in Georgia (the state, not the country). Given the way it was described in a few review journals, I wasn’t sure if this was going to read too young for my middle school students, but I was over the moon to discover this is one of those rare novels in which the characters ARE in middle school and it reads at that level! This will be joining my school library’s collection this fall as soon as it comes out!
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  • Afoma Umesi
    January 1, 1970
    I ADORED THIS BOOK from the very first sentence–I just knew it would be good. And I was right. More to the Story is a heartwarming, charming middle-grade novel about sisterhood, family, and following your passion. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a wholesome, riveting middle-grade book. This book would be perfect for fans of The Vanderbeeker series and Amina’s Voice. Read my full review on my blog.Thanks to the author and Salaam Reads for an ARC of this novel.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusJameela is pleased that she has been named the features editor of her school paper, even though she is in 7th grade, and doesn't get along well with Travis, an 8th grader who is editor. Her grandfather was an investigative reported, and she wants to follow in his footsteps. She wants to make her father proud, and stand out from her three sisters a bit. Things are a bit rough in her household since her father lost his latest contract job with the Center for Disease E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusJameela is pleased that she has been named the features editor of her school paper, even though she is in 7th grade, and doesn't get along well with Travis, an 8th grader who is editor. Her grandfather was an investigative reported, and she wants to follow in his footsteps. She wants to make her father proud, and stand out from her three sisters a bit. Things are a bit rough in her household since her father lost his latest contract job with the Center for Disease Control, and there have been lots of whispered parental conversations about this. When he gets a new contract, to set up a unit in a hospital in Abu Dhabi, it's good that there is income, but the family will miss him. Jameela has an honorary aunt and uncle who spend time with the family a lot, and they have a nephew, Ali, staying with them. Ali's mother and younger sister are still living in London, but are relocating to the US after the death of the father. Ali is a lot of fun, and a year ahead of Jameela at middle school. When she gets a chance to interview him for the paper, she has the focus of the article be microagressions, which the two had discussed. Ali doesn't want this article to be published, and Jameela reluctantly agrees. The article does appear, and it turns out to be a misunderstanding with Travis over files. It's a good article, but Ali is deeply hurt. Adding to her tension is the fact that Bisma, her younger sister, has been diagnosed with leukemia and is undergoing treatment while her father is out of the country. Luckily, Jameela has a strong family and friends to help her through these difficult times. Strengths: I love this author's Zayd Saleem series, and the depiction of family gatherings and extended family (whether related or not) is strong in this one as well. Like Varsha Bajaj's new Count Me In (which deals with much more series racial issues), this novel breaks down a current topic of concern, microaggressions, in a way that middle grade readers can understand. There is also the father's job difficulties and the sister's cancer, but the book revolves around how these things affect Jameela, which is how middle grade readers (and really, most of us!) process difficult situations. Despite the heavy topics, this never gets soggy sad, which I appreciate. I love the cover-- this illustrator doesn't seem familiar, but has just the right tone for middle grade. Weaknesses: The Columbus Dispatch just laid off a significant amount of its staff, including my favorite columnist, Joe Blundo, so I am loathe to encourage students to pursue careers in journalism. I know there has been a resurgence in journalism classes in high schools because of concerns with "fake news", but I have still not gotten over not being able to find a job teaching Latin (after 25 years!), so fear for students who pursue their dreams that are sure to get dashed to the ground. What I really think: Definitely purchasing, and think this will do well with all manner of readers.
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  • Miss Bookiverse
    January 1, 1970
    [3.5 stars]Super sweet family story about a first generation American girl and her dream of becoming a journalist. This book follows Jameela who has to deal with her gorgeous older sister and her two annoying younger sisters on a daily basis. Nevertheless, she loves her family and the relationships between parents, children, and relatives felt sincere and precious. Even though quite a lot is happening in the family's life at the point of narration I sometimes felt a little bored. The audiobook i [3.5 stars]Super sweet family story about a first generation American girl and her dream of becoming a journalist. This book follows Jameela who has to deal with her gorgeous older sister and her two annoying younger sisters on a daily basis. Nevertheless, she loves her family and the relationships between parents, children, and relatives felt sincere and precious. Even though quite a lot is happening in the family's life at the point of narration I sometimes felt a little bored. The audiobook is only 5 hours long though, so I didn't have any trouble finishing it.I liked how the book deals with racism only on the periphery (in the form of micro aggressions) because I'm sure that's something every Muslim girl living in a Western country has to deal with, but by not making it the centre of the story it becomes clear that Jameela doesn't let these issues rule her life and that not every story about immigrant children has to be about racism. One topic I wish would've been presented more critically is the use of social media in times of need. (view spoiler)[One of Jameela's sisters is diagnoed with cancer and in order to keep friends and relatives updated they create an online profile with pictures and everything. I understand the intent behind this but I was surprised that not even the parents question putting up photos and sensitive information about their child on the internet (despite them not allowing their younger daughters to have Instagram and Snapchat yet). (hide spoiler)]Overall, this is a wonderful addition to diverse, #ownvoices middle grade literature.
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  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    January 1, 1970
    Jameela Mirza has a lot on her plate: her dad has taken a job on the other side of the world, her sister has taken ill, and Jameela is having trouble writing an article for her school paper that has personal meaning. More to the Story is a great tale of four sisters who squabble and fuss but, unexpectedly, who grow closer after facing difficulties together. It's a story full of both the remarkable elements of Pakistani-American culture as well as the common elements of life as an early teen. I l Jameela Mirza has a lot on her plate: her dad has taken a job on the other side of the world, her sister has taken ill, and Jameela is having trouble writing an article for her school paper that has personal meaning. More to the Story is a great tale of four sisters who squabble and fuss but, unexpectedly, who grow closer after facing difficulties together. It's a story full of both the remarkable elements of Pakistani-American culture as well as the common elements of life as an early teen. I loved these characters, and I loved this family, and I loved this story.
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  • Laura (bbliophile)
    January 1, 1970
    I basically finished this in one sitting and it was really lovely, though it did make me cry a couple times. (TW: cancer (lymphoma), side character's parent died bc of heart attack)
  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    I adore Hena Khans writing. She does such a good job of making the characters feel realistic. There is zero romance which I love for my middle school boys. I’d highly recommend this for all middle school libraries - and public libraries as well. Must buy.
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  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    A retelling of Little Women starring four Muslim sisters. Dad has to take a job in another country and little sister gets cancer. The family has to find a way to work through all the difficulties they are having. Jameela is a budding journalist and wants to make her dad proud while he is away. The family is supported by a wonderful group of family and friends. We also meet Ali whose father has died so he was sent to live with aunt and uncle in America. He becomes part of the family as well even A retelling of Little Women starring four Muslim sisters. Dad has to take a job in another country and little sister gets cancer. The family has to find a way to work through all the difficulties they are having. Jameela is a budding journalist and wants to make her dad proud while he is away. The family is supported by a wonderful group of family and friends. We also meet Ali whose father has died so he was sent to live with aunt and uncle in America. He becomes part of the family as well even though there are tensions after an article mixup in the school newspaper. I loved the family dynamic of this story. Khan got the sisters just right with their interactions and infighting but obvious love of each other. I loved the supporting community who came together to help the family.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Hena Khan's newest middle grade novel is inspired by Little Women and follows a family of four sisters—Maryam, Jameela, Bisma, and Aleeza—living in Atlanta.Thirteen-year-old Jameela (aka Jam) wants to be a journalist and make a real change in the world. She's frustrated with the fluffy pieces that her editor-in-chief at the school newspaper is publishing. When she meets Ali, a family friend who has moved to Atlanta from the UK, she thinks this might be her chance to write an award-winning story. Hena Khan's newest middle grade novel is inspired by Little Women and follows a family of four sisters—Maryam, Jameela, Bisma, and Aleeza—living in Atlanta.Thirteen-year-old Jameela (aka Jam) wants to be a journalist and make a real change in the world. She's frustrated with the fluffy pieces that her editor-in-chief at the school newspaper is publishing. When she meets Ali, a family friend who has moved to Atlanta from the UK, she thinks this might be her chance to write an award-winning story. But things don't go quite as planned. On top of that, her dad has taken a job across the world for six months, and then the family receives some scary news about about Bisma.I really love Jam's character: she is fierce with the world and supportive and protective of her sisters. She is brave, speaking up for what she knows is right and going after what she wants. She uses her strengths to make her family's lives better. This book takes its inspiration from Little Women, but Alcott doesn't get in the way of Khan's writing at all. Despite being familiar with the original story, I was able to tune it out and enjoy More to the Story on its own. After I finished reading the novel, it was easy to connect the dots, and I really appreciate the way that Khan imagined Little Women in contemporary times. I also liked the way that the original story inspired the family dynamics in this book: the  closeness between Jam and her dad, the support and protectiveness between the sisters, and the close relationship between the mom and dad. Something that I didn't care for was the budding romantic feelings between eighth-grade Ali and seventh-grade Jam. In this age group, not every story needs to include romance, and I dislike it when the reciprocation of feelings is linked to some kind of validation.As far as the Muslim representation goes, I'm always happy to see Muslims represented in literature, and I know that representation will take many shapes, as it should. In More to the Story, the family is a Muslim family of Pakistani descent living in Atlanta. Although the parents don't drink alcohol and the girls don't date, only the mom tries to pray regularly. This is definitely one way that people practice Islam in the US, and it deserves a place in literature. But every time a book is marketed as about a Muslim family or is published by an imprint focusing on Muslim stories, I feel hopeful that this book will reflect the Muslim American experience of my community. And I'm usually disappointed. Only S. K. Ali and Uzma Jalaluddin have reflected that experience, and it's not nearly enough. So while I appreciate More to the Story and I believe that Hena Khan is playing a vital role by representing her community, it's on publishers to make sure there's a variety of Muslim experiences being represented. I recommend this book for readers who enjoy middle grade and are interested in Muslim rep, Pakistani-American rep, or stories about cancer, microaggressions, or ethics in journalism.I received an eARC of More to the Story from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    When I was a child and an adolescent, my favorite book was Little Women. I first read the Junior Illustrated version and then graduated to the novel. I next devoured Alcott’s Little Men and Jo’s Boys. In my guest blog “The New Nancy Drew: Strong Girls in MG/YA Literature (http://www.yawednesday.com/blog/the-n...), I credit Jo March, along with Nancy Drew, as a role model for becoming a strong, independent young woman. While adolescent girls today can find many literary role models (http://www.ya When I was a child and an adolescent, my favorite book was Little Women. I first read the Junior Illustrated version and then graduated to the novel. I next devoured Alcott’s Little Men and Jo’s Boys. In my guest blog “The New Nancy Drew: Strong Girls in MG/YA Literature (http://www.yawednesday.com/blog/the-n...), I credit Jo March, along with Nancy Drew, as a role model for becoming a strong, independent young woman. While adolescent girls today can find many literary role models (http://www.yawednesday.com/…/50-more-...…), the March family also serves an exemplar for a supportive family with mutually-beneficial relationships, despite their quarrels and jealousies.Little Women was published in 1868, but is both timeless and timely. However, the characters are not diverse, and this novel, even with its universal themes, may not speak to all readers and give all readers a mirror into their own worlds and a window into that of other cultures.That is why I read with excitement Hena Khan’s new MG novel More to the Story. Based on Little Women but set today in Georgia, the novel tells the story of a Pakistani-American family: Mama and Baba, Mayam (15), Jameela (12), Bisma (11) , and Aleeza (10) and the family friends’ nephew Ali (13). Jameela, a budding reporter and Features Editor of her school newspaper, narrates their story. \When Baba loses his job and leaves for a 6-month position in Abu Dhabi and Bisma, the sister to whom she is closest, is diagnosed with lymphoma, Jam has to find the strength to fight her quick anger and to work with her family. And while a story she writes about microagressions impresses the news staff and brings a current problem to the foreground, it also threatens her new friendship with Ali, and Jam has to make things right. She finds help through an extended family who loves each other finds ways to support each other during these difficult times.This is not a book for only those who have read Little Women, but a wonderful story in its own right. It could also be paired with Little Women the novel or possibly one of the movie versions for poems in two voices between the characters in each text. There is always more to the story.
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  • Mwinchester97
    January 1, 1970
    There's always more to the story.Jameela is ecstatic to be named the features editor of her middle school paper. She wants to be an award-winning journalist, just like her Grandpa. The only thing standing in her way is the editor-in-chief, who shoots down her ideas. When one of Jameela's articles doesn't turn out the way she means for it to, it might just cost her a new friend. Jam's home life is in uproar as well. She, along with her three sisters, are devastated when their father must travel o There's always more to the story.Jameela is ecstatic to be named the features editor of her middle school paper. She wants to be an award-winning journalist, just like her Grandpa. The only thing standing in her way is the editor-in-chief, who shoots down her ideas. When one of Jameela's articles doesn't turn out the way she means for it to, it might just cost her a new friend. Jam's home life is in uproar as well. She, along with her three sisters, are devastated when their father must travel overseas, leaving a gaping hole in their family. Then her younger sister gets sick, making Jameela question whether life will ever be normal again.Trigger warning for microaggressions and illness of a sibling.I won this in a giveaway from the publisher, Salaam Reads/ Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, and the author, Hena Khan. A huge thank you to them!A story of a young girl's life turning upside down. A story of love, grief, and hope.Confidently vulnerable, Jam stole my heart. From the paper, to her family, to wanting to do something great, loving passion flowed from her heart. It was such a joy to see what a strong young woman she was by the end of the book.Maryam, Bisma, Aleeza, and their parents, were wonderfully depicted. Quick, but perfectly paced, getting to peek into the warm and loving Mirza's lives felt like coming home. It was also heartwarming to see how supportive their community was in their time of need.My heart was overflowing with happiness while reading. Hena Khan's sweet story made me feel so hopeful. While it paralleled Little Women, it was fresh and its own story. She wrote beautifully modern slice-of-life read, depicting a Muslim American family in a tailspin. As they stood together and learned to overcome some of life's biggest hurdles, my heart was simultaneously wrenched and filled. The story was also a window into Muslim / Pakistani culture and dealing with a sibling's illness. Wholesome and charming, I hope to read more of the Mirza sisters's story.
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  • Tonja Drecker
    January 1, 1970
    This is a lovely read about family, friends, siblings, first love interests, and chasing your dreams.Jameela is a seventh grade girl, who has a loving family and a good head on her shoulders. But that doesn't mean life is simple. Her father is having trouble finding a job and must head across seas, leaving the rest of them alone. A boy her age, and family friend, moves to their town from Britain, with troubles of her own. While she's becoming good friends with him, her ambitions to because a gre This is a lovely read about family, friends, siblings, first love interests, and chasing your dreams.Jameela is a seventh grade girl, who has a loving family and a good head on her shoulders. But that doesn't mean life is simple. Her father is having trouble finding a job and must head across seas, leaving the rest of them alone. A boy her age, and family friend, moves to their town from Britain, with troubles of her own. While she's becoming good friends with him, her ambitions to because a great reporter for the school paper have her chasing him for an inclusive. And that might not go as planned. Add troubles with the head of the newspaper, regular life with her siblings (which isn't always smooth) and she's in for quite the time.The author does a terrific job at introducing a wholesome family and bringing their situation to life in such a way that readers of this age group will easily identify with. Jameela is a girl with energy, determination, a big heart but that doesn't mean she feels secure in every situation or always knows what to do. The problems she faces are the type readers will recognize and sympathize with, and the solutions are realistic as well as nicely laid.While the tale follows every day problems (more or less), it's never boring. Jameela has her plate full and not every problem is easy to solve. Her insecurities make her easy to like and fun to root for. Even her mistakes are simple to understand. The Muslim life weaves in seamlessly. This allows readers not only to learn more about the religion and culture, but doesn't take over the story. Readers from other religions and cultures can still identify with the characters and their issues without ever feeling pushed. It's simply well done. There are surprising twists and turns as well as humor built in, making it a fun read from start to finish, too. This is a read kids ages 8 to 12 are sure to enjoy and identify with.I received an ARC and enjoyed the tale quite a bit. So, I'm leaving my honest thoughts.
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  • Shaye Miller
    January 1, 1970
    This lovely book follows the lives of four Muslim American sisters who live in Georgia: Aleeza is 10, Bizma is 11, Jameela Mirza is 13, and Maryam is 15. While not always obvious, the story is based on Louisa May Alcott's beloved Little Women. In fact, I had forgotten this little fact when something happened in the story and I thought, Hey, that reminds me a lot of Little Women! It's told from the perspective of the second oldest sister, Jameela Mirza, who has just been given the position of fea This lovely book follows the lives of four Muslim American sisters who live in Georgia: Aleeza is 10, Bizma is 11, Jameela Mirza is 13, and Maryam is 15. While not always obvious, the story is based on Louisa May Alcott's beloved Little Women. In fact, I had forgotten this little fact when something happened in the story and I thought, Hey, that reminds me a lot of Little Women! It's told from the perspective of the second oldest sister, Jameela Mirza, who has just been given the position of feature editor of her middle school newspaper. She hopes to write an award-winning article for the school paper this year and send it to her Baba (father) who has to been sent overseas for a 6-month position. Meanwhile, their father's best friend (who the sisters lovingly refer to as "uncle") brings his nephew, Ali, to Georgia from London.While this was a fairly short book, each character is well developed. The plot line is nicely paced and the sisters share noticeable similarities to the March sister counterparts while also having their own personalities and unique experiences. Neatly woven into the story are important holidays and customs, and I especially appreciated the careful attention to explaining microagressions in a way that young readers can understand. I enjoyed this one so much and highly recommend it for any children's and young teen library.My sincere thanks to Netgalley, Salaam Reads, and Simon & Schuster for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review. For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    Grade: B-An e-galley was provided by Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: After loving Khan's Amina's Voice, I was super excited to hear she was remixing Little Women. There haven't been enough retellings of LW (although there have been plenty of film adaptations lately). The Mirza girls are all a bit younger than their LW counterparts, but they all clearly correspond to certain sisters, and then Ali arrives to be their Grade: B-An e-galley was provided by Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: After loving Khan's Amina's Voice, I was super excited to hear she was remixing Little Women. There haven't been enough retellings of LW (although there have been plenty of film adaptations lately). The Mirza girls are all a bit younger than their LW counterparts, but they all clearly correspond to certain sisters, and then Ali arrives to be their Laurie. I liked how Meg became Maryam, and how she still seemed the same but translated to a modern setting. Jameela (Jo) was a great protagonist, and I thought it was a great idea to have her want to be a journalist - still a writer but a slightly different medium that connected her to her grandfather and family history, though perhaps that could've been emphasized a bit better. If More to the Story had been YA, I think it would've been explored further. Aleeza (Amy) seemed a bit younger than the age she was supposed to be (nine, I think?). Granted, I haven't been around any nine-year-olds lately but she read more like a six-year-old. MttS is definitely a character-centric book, but I think the different plots could've been stronger at times. I really liked Jameela's plot with Travis and the newspaper, though. She learned how to compromise but also how her vision could still be accomplished.Content warnings: cancer, IslamophobiaThe Verdict: Great for a middle grade audience.
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  • Eileen
    January 1, 1970
    4.5-5I loved this book! I admit I downloaded it because of the blurb that said it was inspired by Little Women. But as much as I loved that book when I was young, I probably only read it once or twice, so I didn't remember much of it. So as I read this, I didn't really notice similarities to Little Women other than the fact that there were 4 daughters and they all had different interests and personalities. But as I continued with the story, I started remember some details of the original cast of 4.5-5I loved this book! I admit I downloaded it because of the blurb that said it was inspired by Little Women. But as much as I loved that book when I was young, I probably only read it once or twice, so I didn't remember much of it. So as I read this, I didn't really notice similarities to Little Women other than the fact that there were 4 daughters and they all had different interests and personalities. But as I continued with the story, I started remember some details of the original cast of characters. Still, I don't think that it was important or necessary that you had any background with Little Women. This story is about a lovely Pakastani family living in America and it's told from the point of view of the second daughter. Without giving away any spoilers, the family experiences hardship and the narrator even makes some mistakes. But she and her sisters learn from these experiences and grow closer as a result. The last paragraph had me completely bawling as it was a perfect way to end the book. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Little Women, but also to those who like realistic fiction and stories about families, especially with a cultural bent. Now to recommend this to my younger daughter--I know she's going to love it!Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    "Amina's Voice" showed a strong girl, and now Hena Khan has given us a new girl, Jameela, with one older sister and two younger ones, yes, four girls, in an ordinary life that soon becomes not so ordinary any more. Khan grew up loving Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women", reading her sister's copy over and over again, at last deciding to write her own "parallel". It is the life of a family who happens to be Muslim, this one not following all the religious rules, but still facing some areas of dis "Amina's Voice" showed a strong girl, and now Hena Khan has given us a new girl, Jameela, with one older sister and two younger ones, yes, four girls, in an ordinary life that soon becomes not so ordinary any more. Khan grew up loving Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women", reading her sister's copy over and over again, at last deciding to write her own "parallel". It is the life of a family who happens to be Muslim, this one not following all the religious rules, but still facing some areas of discrimination. Jameela tells the story, a seventh grader whose biggest dream is to become an accomplished journalist. She writes for the school newspaper which brings some conflicts, one with the editor and advisor. She's a little jealous of her older, beautiful sister, Maryam, annoyed with one of the younger ones, Aleeza, and closest to the other younger one, Bisma. When the father must take a job that will take him far away for six months, the family's comfortable life is shaken, but it is the illness of one of the girls that brings a different look at growing up and learning for Jameela and the others. Showing those thoughts and observations through Jameela's words and her telling of other's actions and words felt like an honest showing of how life works. It isn't always smooth and "ordinary", but changing actions can make it extraordinary. I enjoyed the story very much.
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  • Shari
    January 1, 1970
    More to the Story is a modern-day retelling of the beloved classic, Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. This was one of my favorite books as a kid (swipe to see my copy!) so I have been looking forward to reading this updated version, written by the author of Amina’s Voice, another book that I have loved. Jo was a character I always related to, and I found Jameela (“Jam”) just as relatable - serious about her passions (writing for the newspaper), sometimes short-tempered, and often doing/saying More to the Story is a modern-day retelling of the beloved classic, Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. This was one of my favorite books as a kid (swipe to see my copy!) so I have been looking forward to reading this updated version, written by the author of Amina’s Voice, another book that I have loved. Jo was a character I always related to, and I found Jameela (“Jam”) just as relatable - serious about her passions (writing for the newspaper), sometimes short-tempered, and often doing/saying the wrong things, but for the right reasons. I adore Jam - she loves her family, she learns from her mistakes, and you just can’t help but cheer her on. Her older sister Maryam is beautiful, kind-hearted, and loves to bake. Maryam has more patience than Jam with their youngest sister, artistic and somewhat-spoiled Aleeza. Bisma, the third sister, is musical, gentle, and brave. **For those paying attention, and familiar with the story… this is Hena’s story. While there are many parallels, she takes this story in her own direction, and I’m so grateful. Friends, teachers, students, readers - you are going to love this book. It is beautifully written, with compelling characters and humorous situations. It is a perfect discussion starter for many relevant topics, such as microagressions, journalistic integrity, and grief. You will love the Mirza family, and Ali, and Uncle and Auntie. You will groan and laugh and feel your heart sink and then swell and lift until it almost carries you away. I love this book for those reasons, but also another very personal one. We learn about halfway in that one of the characters has cancer. I’m one of the lucky ones - I have survived two bouts in the ring with breast cancer. Like Jam does, I used Caring Bridge to inform friends and family about news, treatment, surgeries, prayer requests, and thanks for meals. It was also an outlet, where I could pour into my journal entries what I struggled to say out loud. I absolutely wept my way through the second half of this book - not because it was tragic, but because it was beautiful and perfect. I felt like my heart was seen. As a child, I was terrified of the word cancer. I still am, but I love books like this that model for kids (and all of us) ways that we can support loved ones through cancer and other health issues, while still letting them be themselves. Hena, this book has found its way straight into my heart. Thank you for doing the difficult research to write so sensitively and accurately about this topic.
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  • Katie Reilley
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author and Simon and Schuster for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group! Jamella is a seventh grader who has a passion for writing. Someday she wants to be an award winning journalist, like her late grandfather, and she’s working toward that goal as the features editor of her school newspaper. When she learns that her father has to go overseas for six months for work, she and her three sisters and mom are heartbroken. Jam decides to write an amazing article that will mak Thank you to the author and Simon and Schuster for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group! Jamella is a seventh grader who has a passion for writing. Someday she wants to be an award winning journalist, like her late grandfather, and she’s working toward that goal as the features editor of her school newspaper. When she learns that her father has to go overseas for six months for work, she and her three sisters and mom are heartbroken. Jam decides to write an amazing article that will make her dad super proud, but does so at the cost of a new friendship with a boy named Ali. On top of that, her family is shocked to receive news about her younger sister’s health. Not only is this an important story about family, friendships and hope, but the journalism piece that focuses on the microaggressions that today’s students face is important and powerful. Highly recommend this MG novel and I’ll be picking up a copy when it publishes on 9/3. Be sure to read the author’s note about the connection between this story and Little Women.
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  • Jennifer Hill
    January 1, 1970
    "In a matter of weeks, Baba got a new job and moved across the world, Bisma got sick and has to be in the hospital, and I messed up everything with Ali and the paper. How did my whole life get turned upside down so quickly?"Jameela is in 7th grade and has been selected to be a features editor for her school newspaper. She is so privileged and honored and hopes to be the editor in Chief next year. She has 3 sisters: Maryam, the oldest, Bisma, the third, and Aleeza, the baby. Jam has two best frie "In a matter of weeks, Baba got a new job and moved across the world, Bisma got sick and has to be in the hospital, and I messed up everything with Ali and the paper. How did my whole life get turned upside down so quickly?"Jameela is in 7th grade and has been selected to be a features editor for her school newspaper. She is so privileged and honored and hopes to be the editor in Chief next year. She has 3 sisters: Maryam, the oldest, Bisma, the third, and Aleeza, the baby. Jam has two best friends, Lily and Kayla. They are true friends. Ali moves from the UK to live with his Aunt and Uncle. His mom and little sister will be coming over to live shortly. Jam has to deal with lots of different things as her life takes a tailspin. I think the quote above pretty much sums up the book.Great book for windows/ mirrors for Pakistani/ Muslim diversity and kids dealing with cancer from the outside.
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  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    I received an electronic ARC from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing through NetGalley.Modernized retelling of Little Women with fresh characters and modernized setting. Four Muslim sisters cope with a variety of family issues.The father has to take a job out of the country.One sister (Bisma) is diagnosed with cancer.The youngest sister (Aleeza) is a rather spoiled artist.The oldest sister (Maryam) is practically perfect.The main character (Jameela) is a budding journalist who struggles wi I received an electronic ARC from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing through NetGalley.Modernized retelling of Little Women with fresh characters and modernized setting. Four Muslim sisters cope with a variety of family issues.The father has to take a job out of the country.One sister (Bisma) is diagnosed with cancer.The youngest sister (Aleeza) is a rather spoiled artist.The oldest sister (Maryam) is practically perfect.The main character (Jameela) is a budding journalist who struggles with her place in life.A familiar set up - down to the first letters of their names - but Khan pulls readers in with her descriptions and scenarios that will seem similar to pieces of their own lives. Characters are three-dimensional and more is revealed about them throughout. The supportive community characters are given life as well.Will definitely purchase this for our school library.
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  • Rajiv
    January 1, 1970
    Watch my video review of More to the Story by Hena Khan: https://youtu.be/HjIb_iKXxigMany thanks to Netgalley and Salaam Reads / Simon Schuster Books for providing me an advanced ecopy of this book!I really enjoyed reading this novel a lot! This is not exactly a retelling of Little Women, but it does provide a nod and homage to it. Even though we can relate these characters to the original characters, the author has completely revamped them and given them a makeover to fit with the modern world. Watch my video review of More to the Story by Hena Khan: https://youtu.be/HjIb_iKXxigMany thanks to Netgalley and Salaam Reads / Simon Schuster Books for providing me an advanced ecopy of this book!I really enjoyed reading this novel a lot! This is not exactly a retelling of Little Women, but it does provide a nod and homage to it. Even though we can relate these characters to the original characters, the author has completely revamped them and given them a makeover to fit with the modern world. Also, I loved Jameela as the main character and how she deals with all the different issues, like microaggression. Another thing which I really liked about the story is that the author mentions a lot about Muslim traditions, but does not do it by explicitly proving a point or making a bold statement. Overall, I enjoyed reading "More to the Story" and would recommend it.
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  • Hira Chaudhary
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.This might very well have been the cutest thing I have ever read in my entire life. I really loved the idea of a middle grade Muslim retelling of Little Women, and the Mirza sisters were all so adorable and perfect and I loved all of them to no end.Jameela was a really great protagonist and I really enjoyed her voice. I loved her passion for journalism and the lessons she learned along the way in this book. I I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.This might very well have been the cutest thing I have ever read in my entire life. I really loved the idea of a middle grade Muslim retelling of Little Women, and the Mirza sisters were all so adorable and perfect and I loved all of them to no end.Jameela was a really great protagonist and I really enjoyed her voice. I loved her passion for journalism and the lessons she learned along the way in this book. I loved her love for her family and how she was there for each of them in her own way. I loved her and Ali and how dang adorable and perfect the two of them were.This book was just the best and I really loved it with all my heart <3
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  • Edie
    January 1, 1970
    I had a hard time putting this book down because Hena did such a good job of bring the Mirza family to life, especially Jameela, who is fesity and fiery, her temper often getting the best of her. She loves writing (wants to be a journalist and for now wants to write stories that matter for the school newspaper), her sisters and her parents, especially her Baba. The story if inspired by Little Women and you definitely get both sisterly love and competition. The family faces a crisis with the illn I had a hard time putting this book down because Hena did such a good job of bring the Mirza family to life, especially Jameela, who is fesity and fiery, her temper often getting the best of her. She loves writing (wants to be a journalist and for now wants to write stories that matter for the school newspaper), her sisters and her parents, especially her Baba. The story if inspired by Little Women and you definitely get both sisterly love and competition. The family faces a crisis with the illness of one of the sisters and the reader gets a sense of the pain experienced by those who watch someone they love suffer. A memorable book.
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  • Lorie Barber
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sharing a copy of this wonderful book with my reading group. What a journey Jameela and her family go on as they navigate problems large and small. The Mirza girls (written as a modern-day homage to Little Women) are a strong, tight-knit bunch who go through the highs and lows that only sisters can. I love Jam’s voice, her determination, and her reflectiveness. I totally identified with the anger she feels (still a thing, Jan, and I’m 46!) Kids her will see Ja Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sharing a copy of this wonderful book with my reading group. What a journey Jameela and her family go on as they navigate problems large and small. The Mirza girls (written as a modern-day homage to Little Women) are a strong, tight-knit bunch who go through the highs and lows that only sisters can. I love Jam’s voice, her determination, and her reflectiveness. I totally identified with the anger she feels (still a thing, Jan, and I’m 46!) Kids her will see Jameels struggle and work HARD to solve her problems, rooting for her, Maryam, Bismarck, and Aleeza the whole way. A definite add to my classroom library!
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