I could not be more thrilled to be revealing today's cover! Its author has long been one of my favorite people on Twitter, and I'm so excited to help launch her book into the world.
SAINTS AND MISFITS is "an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen," coming June 13th from Simon & Schuster's Salaam Reads imprint.
Here's a little more about the book:
(caption in the alt-text or hover)
An American-Muslim hijabi on the front cover of a YA novel. (Deep happy sigh.)
Saints and Misfits is a story about a fifteen year-old, Janna Yusuf, who works out her pain in the midst of her American-Muslim community. It was very important to me that the cover reflected this -- the main character being comfortable with being Muslim and American. Unfortunately, this is rarely explored territory in book publishing so I was a little worried about what the result would look like. But when I saw the cover designed by Chloe Foglia, I was so happy that, sources say, I may have done a very cheesy 80's happy dance in the car on the way home from work. Janna's intersectional identities were conveyed in a fresh, bold way, with a hijabi character actually doing something she enjoys: taking photos.
Can I also add that I may have been waiting about three decades to see this? A girl in hijab, with her own story, claiming her rightful cover space!
A big thanks to Salaam Reads, the Simon & Schuster imprint dedicated to finding and publishing these stories and to my awesome editor, Zareen Jaffery, who's a tireless worker in the quest to bring diverse stories to readers. Also, without my agent John Cusick understanding how important covers are to someone who comes from a community rarely seen in print, this beautiful cover would not be. Okay, before it sounds like I just received an Academy Award for getting the Best Book Cover (because it does feel like that), let me just step aside and let you present Saints and Misfits, Kate...
I'm happy to oblige!
S.K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her family includes Muslim scholars consistently listed in The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching. She lives with her family and a massive (he’d say “muscled”) cat named Yeti. Find her on Twitter @Sajidahwrites.