Salaam Reads to Publish Books for Young Readers of All Ages
New York, New York, February 24, 2016—Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing announced today that it will launch Salaam Reads, believed to be the first imprint at a major publisher focused on Muslim characters and stories.
Salaam Reads will introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families, and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works. The imprint, which takes its name from the Arabic word for “peace,” plans to publish books for young readers of all ages, including picture and chapter books, and middle–grade and young adult titles.
Salaam Reads will reside within the larger Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers imprint, led by publisher Justin Chanda and executive editor Zareen Jaffery. The imprint plans to publish a minimum of nine titles per year for all ages.
“There is an incredible range of cultural and religious traditions among Muslims in the United States and across the globe, illustrating that there is no one way to be Muslim,” said Jaffery. “Our aim with the Salaam Reads imprint is in part to provide fun and compelling books for Muslim children, but we also intend for these books to be entertaining and enriching for a larger non-Muslim audience.”
“There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States, 1.6 billion in the world, and they are an underserved literary market,” said Jon Anderson, President of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. “Children’s books are a fantastic way to get to know our local and global Muslim neighbors. Simon & Schuster is thrilled to offer a home to books that share the stories of Muslim children, in all their diversity. ”
Salaam’s first list will launch in 2017, and the initial acquisitions include four debut children’s book authors:
SALAM ALAIKUM is a picture book celebrating peace, community, and love based on the popular song of the same name by global social media sensation and Awakening Worldwide recording artist Harris J.
MUSA, MOISES, MO, AND KEVIN is a picture book introducing four kindergarten best friends who share their favorite family holiday traditions for Eid, Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, and Pi Day, written by H. A. Raz, a pseudonym for husband-and-wife writing team Huda Abdul-Razzak and Azhar Sheraze.
THE GAUNTLET OF BLOOD AND SAND by Karuna Riazi is a middle–grade adventure about twelve-year-old Bangladeshi American Farah Mirza from Queens, New York, and her quest to save her brother from a supernatural board game.
YO SOY MUSLIM is a lyrical picture book in which a parent shares with their child the joy and pride in having a multicultural heritage, written by Mark Gonzales, HBO Def Jam poet and TEDxRamallah speaker.
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Katy Hershberger, Associate Director of Publicity