Journey of the Midnight Sun

Orca. Mar. 2022. 32p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781459827615.
PreS-Gr 1–This title tells the true story of a pre-built mosque that was shipped to a growing Muslim community near the Arctic Circle. It was too expensive to build a mosque in Inuvik, a rural region of northwest Canada, so the community asked for one to be sent to them from Winnipeg. The mosque was driven from nearly the very south to the very north of the country, and required many accommodations along the way. All ends well, with the people being able to worship every day in their new mosque. The story is almost set like a graphic novel with sparse text and the action occurring mostly through illustrations, sometimes set as panels on the page. The buildings, animals, and scenery are particularly striking, and the spreads convey just how massive an undertaking this was. Young readers will like seeing the efforts of people helping the mosque and the amazed seals watching the boat tugging it along in the water. Both the author and illustrator are Muslim, and the author’s note explains why this story is special. It’s epic, and an example of strong faith and community.
VERDICT This may need some booktalking, but readers will quickly sink into an adventure that combines architecture, logistics, cartography, and very likely a lot of prayers.

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