Title: I Am Thunder
Author: Muhammad Khan
Pages: 310 Pages
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
A shy girl trying to find her place in the world is forced to stand up and be heard when she uncovers a dangerous secret.
Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem is passionate about writing and dreams of becoming a novelist. There’s just one problem – her super-controlling parents have already planned her life out for her:
Step 1) Get educated
Step 2) Qualify as a doctor
Step 3) Marry a cousin from Pakistan. Oh, and boyfriends are totally haram.
No one is more surprised than humble Muzna when high school hottie, Arif Malik, takes an interest in her. But Arif and his brother are angry at the West for demonizing Islam and hiding a terrible secret. As Arif begins to lead Muzna down a dark path, she faces a terrible choice: keep quiet and betray her beliefs, or speak up and betray her heart?
A stunning new YA voice which questions how far you’ll go to stand up for what you believe.
I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan is one of the most powerful YA books that I have ever read.
In a political climate that seems to encourage hate I Am Thunder holds a mirror up to society and shows just how complicit it is in perpetuating the negativity. It shows how people will not blame one person, they will homogenise a group of people with the same attributes. It also shows how easy it is for young people to become embroiled in events so far out of their control and how we should show understanding.
I Am Thunder is the story of Muzna, a young Muslim girl who is struggling with the different strands of her identity: she is British, she is Muslim, she is Pakistani, she is a girl and she is a daughter among many other things. She struggles to be all of those things; worries that if she does something wrong then she will be a disappointment.
It is Muzna’s vulnerabilities that get her caught up in a world of aggression, one she really has no knowledge of and one that ultimately leads her to make some bad decisions.
You cannot help but feel sorry for Muzna. She is just a young girl trying to find her way. What Muhammad Khan has successfully done is shine a light on a forgotten aspect of radicalisation, how young people are groomed.
I Am Thunder is an extremely powerful read and should be added to the high school curriculum.
I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan is available now.
For more information regarding Muhammad Khan (@mkhanauthor) please visit his Twitter page.
For more information regarding Macmillan Children’s Books (@MacmillanKidsUK) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.