The Masjid Kamal Loves

One of the hardest parts about being an author is letting go.

We often have to let go of ideas that just aren’t working. We let go of professional connections that no longer benefit either party. Most importantly, we let go of our books.

After carefully nurturing a book through publication, we release it into the world. Once there, we can no longer fully protect it.

We love it and let it go, hoping others will love it as much as we do.

My experience with “The Masjid Kamal Loves” was no different. Well, maybe it was a little different. I was a bit more nervous because this was my first picture book featuring a Muslim main character. My Highlights Muslim Fellowship family was the first to celebrate and show Kamal love before publication. (I had the honor of reading it aloud during one of our open mic sessions when it was still just an F&G.)

Fast forward to now. “The Masjid Kamal Loves,” written by me and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel, has been recognized on the Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Books of 2023 list.


A glitter announcement? Of course!

How does all of this make me feel? You could say I have a “percolating pride from sole to soul.”