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Zanib Mian's books have featured on BBC's Cbeebies Bedtime Stories and The Guardian for their contribution to diversity in children's literature. Zanib studied Molecular Cell Biology at University College London and went on to teach Science in secondary schools before she made the decision to give up the career to create change within children's publishing. She felt that diverse characters from all minorities and backgrounds weren't being fully represented in books for young children. She launched Sweet Apple Publishers with a clear commitment to publishing inclusive books, many of which she has authored herself. She regularly features in the Bradford Literature Festival, was commissioned to write an opera for The Mahogany Opera Group, and is also on the panel of judges for the prestigious Young Muslim Writers Awards.
Book Band: Grey Ideal for ages 8+ | Maxx the alien is sent to earth to study humans and specifically to learn about their feelings. His education comes on in leaps and bounds when he makes a human friend, Jibreel. The two have fun together, but there are real worries and sadnesses in Jibreel’s life too – he’s a refugee and is separated from his mother, and to a group of boys in his class, he’s the ‘alien’. Fortunately, Maxx is there to apply his other-worldly logic to the problem. Zanib Mian has a real gift for comedy and dialogue too and this is extremely funny, while at the same time it makes some very serious points. In the new Bloomsbury Readers series, the story is perfect for children growing reading confidence and understanding, with short chapters and frequent illustrations. A separate ‘Reading Zone’ section at the end lists discussion points and also encourages readers to think about the book’s narrative structure.
Welcome back to Planet Omar! The second book in Zanib Mian's laugh-out-loud series, with amazing cartoon-style illustrations from Nasaya Mafaridik. Perfect for fans of Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid. Omar and his friends have been saving up their pocket money for ages so they can have the world's most epic Nerf Blaster battle. But when Omar discovers that his mosque is in trouble, they decide to donate their pennies to help save it. Then they try to raise some more money by: Doing some chores (boorrring) Selling some home-made cookies (deeelicious) Holding a talent contest (YESSSSSSS) Everything goes PERFECTLY until the money mysteriously goes missing. Can they work out who has taken it in time to stop the mosque closing down? And what exactly is Omar's sister Maryam hiding in her room...? Have you read the first book in the series, Accidental Trouble Magnet? Love Reading4Kids called it 'irresistible reading'!
Chosen by Cressida Cowell, Guest Editor May 2020 | Young readers will have great fun on planet Omar! Our hero's tales of everyday life with his family and at school will keep everyone amused. Omar is worried because the family have just moved house - will he make friends at school? He does of course, but Daniel the school bully seems to have it in for him. A school trip to the Science Museum sees the two of them lost in London, but Omar knows just what to do and in the process realises that maybe he'd got Daniel wrong. The real pleasure of this book is Omar - his imagination, the pleasure he finds in ordinary things, his infectious zest for life make this irresistible reading. The book also offers insight into the life of an ordinary Muslim family, something we don't often get, and indeed, Zanib Mian has said that she wrote the book to counter negative stereotypes of Muslims. It's another reason to recommend this book, and I'm already looking forward to a new story and a return to Planet Omar. Our Guest Editor, Cressida Cowell said, "this is a very funny, illustrated series which has characters with heart who you really care about. I’d say if you’re a fan of Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates, you’d like this series…"
UKLA Longlist Book Awards - 2019 | Winner of the Little Rebels Award this is a witty, natural and authentic story of a British Muslim family. The handwritten Wimpy Kid style of presentation makes this hugely accessible and it is genuinely funny, as well as a great example of inclusion.