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“Aamna Qureshi’s prose sings with emotion, every immaculate word carrying this stunning story forward. Zahra’s journey across the country and into the depths of her heart demonstrates the incomparable power of finding—or rediscovering—love that’ll be with you wherever you go.”
—Racquel Marie, author of Ophelia After All

When a Brown Girl Flees

Written by Aamna Qureshi
Published by Lee & Low Books

After Zahra Paracha makes a decision at odds with her beliefs, her mother forces Zahra to make an impossible choice about her future. So Zahra runs away. A train and a plane ride later, she finds herself in New York, where she relinquishes her past in favor of a new future. There, she must learn who she is without the marionette strings of control in her mother’s hands. There, she must learn who she wishes to become.

On Long Island, Zahra stays at a bed & breakfast, unsure of her place in the world. Anxious, depressed, and grappling with guilt, she wanders aimlessly. She eventually visits the local masjid, where she is befriended by two sisters and drawn into the welcoming Muslim community there.

It is in this place of safety that Zahra’s healing truly begins—but can she create a home for herself when the foundation is built on lies she’s spun to protect her from the past? When a family friend recognizes her, will everything come crashing down? As Zahra tries to build a life for herself in this new place, the heart of the matter becomes clear: she can’t run away forever. Can she close the rift in her family and truly, fully heal?

In this powerful novel from new voice Aamna Qureshi, a Muslim teen goes on a breathtaking journey to find her home and—more importantly—herself.

Primary ISBN: 9781643795058
Publication Date: September 2023
Available As: Hardcover, eBook
Young Adult, Age 14 or older

Community Represented: ,

Themes: , , , , , , , , ,

Setting: United States (New York)

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: Immigrant

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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