From the award-winning author of Amina’s Voice and Amina’s Song comes a tenderhearted middle grade novel about a young Pakistani American artist determined to manage her anxiety and forge her own creative path.
Deena’s never given a name to the familiar knot in her stomach that appears when her parents argue about money, when it’s time to go to school, or when she struggles to find the right words. She manages to make it through each day with the help of her friends and the art she loves to make.
While her parents’ money troubles cause more and more stress, Deena wonders if she can use her artistic talents to ease their burden. She creates a logo and social media account to promote her mom’s home-based business selling clothes from Pakistan to the local community. With her cousin and friends modeling the outfits and lending their social media know-how, business picks up.
But the success and attention make Deena’s cousin and best friend, Parisa, start to act funny. Suddenly Deena’s latest creative outlet becomes another thing that makes her feel nauseated and unsure of herself. After Deena reaches a breaking point, both she and her mother learn the importance of asking for help and that, with the right support, Deena can create something truly beautiful.
Praise for Drawing Deena
"Through candid first-person narration, Khan (Zara’s Rules for Living Your Best Life) examines adolescent anxiety and its various triggers and depicts adaptive coping mechanisms, including making the most of mentorship and support from one’s community. "
— Publishers Weekly
"this book is written with an authentic middle school voice and blends culture, realistic worries, and mental health in a way upper elementary school and young middle school readers will appreciate."
— School Library Journal
"A sensitive look at the effect of anxiety and the pressures of today (including social media) on young people’s mental health."
— Horn Book
*Khan skillfully weaves in cultural references and Urdu phrases alongside thoughtful questions about the arts, mental health, social media, parent-child relationships, and the pressures adolescent girls face about their appearances.
A nuanced and quietly powerful story.
— Kikrus, STARRED REVIEW