Title: Golden Girl
Author: Reem Faruqi
Release Date: February 22nd, 2022
Page Length: 336
Age Range: Middle Grade
A coming-of-age middle grade novel in verse about seventh grader Aafiyah Qamar, a Pakistani American girl who hatches a special plan to help her family but finds that doing what’s right isn’t always easy.
Seventh grader Aafiyah loves playing tennis, reading Weird but True facts, and hanging out with her best friend, Zaina. However, Aafiyah has a bad habit that troubles her–she’s drawn to pretty things and can’t help but occasionally “borrow” them.
But when her father is falsely accused of a crime he hasn’t committed and gets taken in by authorities, Aafiyah knows she needs to do something to help. When she brainstorms a way to bring her father back, she turns to her Weird but True facts and devises the perfect plan.
But what if her plan means giving in to her bad habit, the one she’s been trying to stop? Aafiyah wants to reunite her family but finds that maybe her plan isn’t so perfect after all. . .
Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
After reading Reem’s previous novel-in-verse, Unsettled, I knew I had to read her newest, Golden Girl. This follows Aafiyah who is dealing with a lot including her kleptomania and her father being wrongfully accused. Reem’s writing is once again beautiful and flowing. I found it moving in its short stay. Although now the individual characters are lost to my memory, I do remember them having great arcs and the lessons learned by Aafiyah were great for any in the age group to learn. The realistic story that Reem tells in verse is moving and heart-wrenching. It’s perfect to pick up for a quick read while still leaving an emotional impact. I will definitely be picking up more of Reem’s writing when she publishes more.