Author Feature: Farhana Zia

Farhana Zia is a critically acclaimed children’s book author. Her stories blend humor and tradition, memories and contemporary moments.  A former elementary school teacher, she currently keeps busy writing, substitute teaching and taking leisurely walks in her neighborhood. Ms. Zia enjoys sharing her work with schools, libraries, book stores and other cultural and educational institutions.  Her book readings and her interactive, lively presentations bring her audience up close and personal with the exciting, exotic world of her characters while creating multicultural awareness and sensitivities in the young viewers.

Farhana Zia was born in Hyderabad, India and immigrated to the United States in 1967.   She lives in Massachusetts. Here’s her website: http://www.fziastories.com/.


The Garden of My Imaan

It’s hard enough to fit in without also having to decide whether to fast for Ramadan and wear the hijab. Aliya already struggles with trying to fit in, feeling confident enough to talk to the cute boy, or brave enough to stand up to mean kids―the fact that she’s Muslim is just another part of her life. But then Marwa, a Moroccan girl who shares Aliya’s faith, if not her culture, moves to town. Marwa’s quiet confidence leads Aliya to wonder even more about who she is, what she believes, and where she fits in. In a series of letters to Allah she writes for a Sunday school project, Aliya explores her dreams and fears, hoping that with hard work and faith, something beautiful will grow in the garden of imaan―the small quiet place inside where belief unfolds, one petal at a time.


Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji

Overflowing with family, food, and a tall stack of fun, Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji is sure to warm the heart and tickle the tummy. A fun way for children to learn about the cultural traditions and foods of India to be enjoyed by the whole family.

Aneel’s grandparents have come to stay, all the way from India. Aneel loves the sweet smell of his grandmother’s incense, and his grandfather, Dada-ji, tells the world’s best stories.

When he was a boy, adventurous, energetic Dada-ji had the power of a tiger. Hunh-ji! Yes, sir! He could shake mangoes off trees and wrangle wild cobras. And what gave him his power? Fluffy-puffy hot, hot roti, with a bit of tongue-burning mango pickle. Does Dada-ji still have the power? Aneel wants to find out-but first he has to figure out how to whip up a batch of hot, hot roti.

Overflowing with family, food, and a tall stack of fun, Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji is sure to warm the heart and tickle the tummy. Hunh-ji! Yes, sir!


Child of Spring

Engaging writing and a delightful protagonist bring a 1960s Indian village to life.
Basanta longs for the beautiful ring worn by her young mistress, but when it is finally hers, she realizes that it’s not the wonderful possession she expected. Increasingly aware of the struggles of her less privileged friends, Lali and Bala, she finds a way to improve their lives and entertain their community— and the beautiful ring takes on new meaning.
Farhana Zia’s engaging novel—filled with a cast of distinct, endearing characters and humorous, thought-provoking events—provides an insightful look at relative privilege and opportunity.


Lali’s Feather

Lali finds a little feather in the field. Who might it belong to? Lali sets out to find the feather a home, but one bird after another rejects it. The feather is too small for Rooster, too slow for Crow, and too plain for Peacock. That is until Lali decides to keep the little feather and discovers all the things she can do with it, and the other birds begin to recognize its value.

Farhana Zia (The Garden of My Imaan) offers a charming tale with an inventive circular structure that reveals the importance of looking beyond first impressions. Illustrator Stephanie Fizer Coleman (Bird Count) brings this delightful story of imagination and inspiration to life.

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