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Cover Reveal: SAINTS AND MISFITS by S. K. Ali



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:

There are three kinds of people in my life: 1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you gaze right through them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose.  2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me— the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama's-Boy-Muhammad.  Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds. But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right?  3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories. Like the monster at my mosque. People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask. Except me.
(caption in the alt-text or hover)


And here are the author's thoughts on the cover (spoiler: she loves it!):

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!

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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.
Kate Hart

Kate is the author of After the Fall, coming January 24, 2017 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. A former teacher and grant writer, she now owns a treehouse-building business in the Ozarks and hosts the Badass Ladies You Should Know interview series.

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2 comments:

  1. Oh my god it's so lovely. I adore how "typically YA" (if there is such a thing) it feels while featuring a girl in hijab! Normalizing diversity on our covers, yay!

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  2. Gorgeous cover! CanNOT wait to get ahold of this! x

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Item Reviewed: Cover Reveal: SAINTS AND MISFITS by S. K. Ali Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart