Abrams. May 2023. 272p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419761751.
Gr 4-7–In a book written in alternating chapters by four well-known Muslim authors, four tweens with seemingly little in common are stranded at an airport. Bad weather has grounded all flights following a Muslim convention. Feek, an aspiring poet, wants to gain the approval of his famous father through his writing but is instead babysitting his little sister Ruqi. Hanna, animal protector extraordinaire, is trying to find a cat named Snickerdoodle, who was lost in the airport the week before, while also avoiding her dad’s talk about finding her a new mom. Sami, forever anxious, is worried the grounded flights will keep him from his important karate tournament. Nora, daughter of a congresswoman, just wants to make videos for social media and work out her friend issues. When Hanna recruits the others to find Snickerdoodle, all four embark on an adventure through the airport (with Ruqi in tow), and uncover potentially sinister happenings with animals. The story contains just the right number of twists and turns to keep middle grade readers engaged. The authors have seamlessly overlapped each family's trials, keeping the characters likable and believable. Muslim readers will be happy to be represented, and will connect with one or more of the kids, whether they feel like they fit in or not, and non-Muslim readers will see the universality of friendship and families.
VERDICT This will appeal to a wide audience, with important topics addressed smartly, including the positives and negatives of social media, and fitting in with peers while staying connected to one’s family.

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