“This is the best book that I have read. It is a great book with a hint of imagination. It shows the power of the Quran, and all the creatures Allah has created are always praising and glorifying him.” – Amara Aboobaker, 11 Years old, Leicester, England, May 2022
As Journey Beyond the Great Tree grew from a novella into a novel between 2014 and 2020, it developed some aspects and features that are not common in children’s English language fiction, making it a read to remember:
– 13 of Allah’s beautiful names can be found inscribed in Arabic, hidden in beautiful full-page chapter illustrations intended to give readers moments in the narrative to pause and reflect.
– Chapter 19, A Ladybug’s Point of View, features a child-friendly dialogue through which young readers can arrive at a rational basis for believing in the existence of God (considered by scholars to be the first obligation). Help your kid(s) fulfill the first obligation while they read a story.
– The story’s theme of healing (with regard to the citrus-greening bacteria that have afflicted Florida’s orange groves) and its celebration of ethnic diversity can be related to events that characterize our times like the novel coronavirus pandemic and the urgent social rewriting of race relations in light of systemic racial profiling and injustice (in the United States of America, for example).
– The characters of the novel model for young readers an empathetic form of respectful dialogue with interlocutors who are culturally or ethnically different; difference is acknowledged and appreciated.
– The text models standard English grammar: If you find one sentence or phrase that is unintentionally grammatically incorrect, let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
– The narrative features vocabulary suitable for readers age 8 and up and introduces select words of interest to growing Muslim readers.
– Traditional Islamic lessons are woven playfully into the story to help readers recognize the harms of backbiting, showing off, and other wrong actions.
– The book fosters love for the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
– It demonstrates respect for traditional scholars of sacred knowledge.
– It fosters love for lessons from the Quran pertaining to the relationship between children and parents.