Simon & Schuster Launches Muslim Focused Imprint Salaam Reads

Posted on February 26, 2016

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing is launching a new book imprint called Salaam Reads. The imprint will be the first imprint at a major U.S. book publisher to focus on Muslim characters and stories. The imprint is named after the Arabic word for peace. The books will be marketed to young readers of all faiths, but the stories themselves will focus on Muslim children and families.

The imprint will have a broad reach; it will release chapter books, picture books, middle grade books and young adult titles. To start the imprint will publish nine books a year. Salaam Reads will be overseen by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers publisher Justin Chanda and executive editor Zareen Jaffery.

Ms. Jaffery had this to say about the new venture: "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." She added, "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."

The imprint's first releases will be in 2017 with four new debut children's book authors. The initial releases will be three picture books and a middle grade adventure. The picture books include Salam Alaikum, based on the song by recording artist Harris J., Musa Moises, Mo and Kevin, a celebration of four kindergartners' family holiday traditions for Eid, Christmas, Rosh Hashanah and Pi Day, by husband-and-wife writing team Huda Abdul-Razzak and Azhar Sheraze (writing as H.A. Raz), and Yo Soy Muslim, a celebration a multicultural heritage by Mark Gonzales.

The middle grade release is The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand by Karuna Riazi which is an adventure tale that fans of Jumanji will enjoy. A 12 year old Bangladeshi American girl named Farah Mizra must save her brother from a supernatural board game.

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