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Graphic novels are having their moment right now, using their captivating medium to tell stories in a way plain text sometimes lacks. I was originally drawn to Nayra and the Djinn from one glance at the stunning cover. What kept me enthralled was a thoughtful and resilient story centered on Nayra, a Muslim teenager who doesn't feel she belongs or fits at school and her unexpected friendship with Marjan, a djinn who ran away and found a kindred soul in Nayra. From the fascinating folklore to the transformative journey towards figuring out personhood when the world would try to say who you should be, Nayra and the Djinn is a story worth reading and one more relatable than you might think.— From Allie's Picks
In this coming-of-age graphic novel with a fantastical twist, Nayra Mansour, a Muslim American girl, is helped on her journey to selfhood by a djinn.
Nothing is going right for Nayra Mansour. There's the constant pressure from her strict family, ruthless bullying from her classmates, and exhausting friendship demands from Rami –the only other Muslim girl at school. Nayra has had enough. Just when she's considering transferring schools to escape it all, a mysterious djinn named Marjan appears.
As a djinn, a mythical being in Islamic folklore, Marjan uses their powers and wisdom to help Nayra navigate her overwhelming life. But Marjan's past is fraught with secrets, guilt, and trouble, and if they don’t face what they’ve done, Nayra could pay the price.
In this beautifully illustrated graphic novel, Iasmin Omar Ata has created a realistic coming-of-age story with an enchanting dose of the fantastical about strength, identity, and, most of all, friendship.
About the Author
Iasmin Omar Ata is an intersectional comics artist, illustrator, and game designer. Iasmin focuses on creating art centered around the themes of coping with illness, understanding identity, and dismantling oppressive structures.
"Subtle and powerful emotions, changes between djinn and human worlds, and the passage of time are all conveyed as much through shifting hues and palettes as they are through the text or the striking illustrations themselves. This makes for an ultimately hopeful coming-of-age story that expertly cues readers to emotionally connect with Nayra’s growth." --BCCB
"Presenting a slice of life with a tinge of magic, the story’s overall mellow tone is heightened by the color palette’s deep jewel tones. . . Fresh and interesting." --Kirkus
"A captivating use of Islamic beliefs and culture to share with readers the importance of rebuilding relationships and standing up for oneself." --SLJ
"With themes of self-acceptance, friendship, and finding strength in cultural heritage, this is a
great pick for fans of Nidhi Chanani’s Pashmina." --Booklist
"The story will add diversity to collections and will serve as a great jumping-off point for discussions about acceptance and compassion." --SLC
"Pastel purples, pinks, and blues heighten the graphic novel’s mythical trappings with a soft, melancholy atmosphere and provide a skillful visual contrast between the djinn world and Nayra’s real life . . . Ata deftly constructs a narrative about the challenges surrounding asking for and granting forgiveness, and moving forward." --Publisher's Weekly