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Call Me Adnan + Books of Color: Diversity is Wonderful

Today I bring you the book Call Me Adnan by Reem Faruqi who has become one of my favorite writers since I first read her books a couple of years ago. And then, Top Ten Tuesday as well featuring books of color, where I mean it is books with specific colors on their covers. Of course, many of them also feature diverse characters, and hence are also books of color and diversity too.

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Call Me Adnan

Book Info

cover of book Call Me Adnan featuring two boys - one carrying the other on his back

Call Me Adnan by Reem Faruqi (Children’s Fiction/Novels in Verse | 8 – 12 years, and up | HarperCollins Children’s Books | Pub Date 16 May 2023)

Thank you to NetGalley, HarperCollins Children’s Books, HarperCollins, and Reem Faruqi for the opportunity to read Call Me Adnan in exchange for an honest review.


Adnan Zakir loves table tennis. One thing he doesn’t like is losing. He’s colorblind, left-handed, and has a fondness for the aviation alphabet. He’s super close with his sister, Aaliyah, who is a great dancer and memorizer of the Quran, and he loves his little toddler brother, Rizwan, who only wants to grow up and play table tennis like his big brother.

All Adnan dreams of is to make it to the Ultimate Table Tennis Championship in Florida, but first he must qualify at his local Atlanta playoffs. Adnan’s cousins live in Florida, and if he qualifies for the tournament, he knows he will get to spend the Eid holiday with his cousins. When Adnan qualifies, he can’t wait for the most epic Eid ever!

But when the family travels to Florida for the tournament, an unthinkable tragedy strikes, and Adnan swears he’ll never play table tennis ever again. Slowly, he and his family must learn to make peace and heal, as Adnan finds a way to move past what happened and find hope once more. Reem has written another poignant, heartfelt, and powerful middle grade novel about a Muslim family that must cope with a terrible loss and come together as one again.

My Thoughts

Reem Faruqi once again weaves magic with words that tug at heartstrings, wrap you in a word-ly hug, and leave you wanting to read more and know (more about) the characters themselves. Call Me Adnan is a roller-coaster of emotions wrapped within lyrical verses full of stunning imagery, emotions, and visuals. Hope and healing within tragedy, faith, family, friendships, life, heartbreak, and more rush at you as you read the book.

Listing favorite lines from this book proved to be tough with so many beautiful lines (like this one: he’d laugh like/happy fireworks; or part of another: …whose voice is/like pebbles on the shore), so I leave it to you to discover this book for and by yourself. This is a must-read, required reading actually.

Books of Color

My list of books includes books that have covers of colors of the flags from both India and the US. So, red, blue, white, saffron, and green.

  1. Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy! A book I have to get back to reading this one. I definitely recommend this one to all Jeopardy lovers.
  2. Big Bangs and Black Holes: A Graphic Novel Guide to the Universe. If you visit my blog often enough, you know I love children’s nonfiction as well as graphic novels. So this one was already a winner in my eyes. Now that I am reading it, I am sky-high impressed!
  3. Eats More, Shoots & Leaves! While I talk about this book just briefly in my post of 10 Books that Make You Smile, I love it lots.
  4. Egg: A Dozen Ovatures. That cover and the subtitle! Aren’t they enough to make you go ‘oh!’ and make you pick up this book? It has been a egg-citing, egg-cellent read so far (sorry about that, but I couldn’t resist)..
  5. I am Every Good Thing. A book that is as good as its title; it is every good thing indeed… this picture book is an affirmation in itself, a powerful one at that.
  6. On the Curry Trail: Chasing the Flavor That Seduced the World. I had to read this one. And like the other food-themed books I read recently, this one is worth it. Worth it for every delicious recipe and interesting fact about curry and more!
  7. The Talk. One of my current reads, and oh my…a tough, heartbreaking read that is filled with love, hope, and humor.
  8. The Van Buren Sisters vs the Pants Police. Books like these are one of the reasons I love children’s nonfiction! They introduce me to little-known or hitherto unknown fascinating, everyday heroes I should have known about.
  9. Who Will it Be? A book that coolly and uniquely explores the connections between humans and all other lifeforms through stunning illustrations and clever, concise text.
  10. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? You might ask, “why has nobody told me of this book before?” once you start reading it. I wondered why I did not get started on it earlier than now. A self-help book for everyone…

Hopefully a more complete review soon on my blog for all these books..

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read the featured book? Or any of the books on my Top Ten list? If 👍🏻, your thoughts on them? If not, which one do you think you will pick first? Let me know in the comments. As always, welcome any and all thoughts on this post and recommendations as well.

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14 thoughts on “Call Me Adnan + Books of Color: Diversity is Wonderful

  1. I feel like this book would be a great way to help your kids through grief or loss, but that’s without reading it yet, lol! What ages would you recommend it for?

  2. I absolutely loved your review of “Call Me Adnan” and how you described the emotional journey, lyrical verses, and themes of hope and healing. It definitely made me want to pick up the book and experience it for myself. Your list of “Books of Color” is fantastic too, with diverse covers and intriguing titles. It’s clear that you have a passion for literature and storytelling.

  3. I’m color-blind and I love table tennis too… 😀 This seems like a sad story where the main character will win…I do hope so.

  4. This looks and sounds like a wonderful addition to my kids book collection! I love it and am checking it out next so thank you for sharing 😉

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