Lately, there has been a lot of talk around the blogosphere about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement so I figured, what is a better way to promote books with diverse characters than to review a diverse MG novel? Spoiler alert: there isn’t one.
I read Saving Kabul Corner back in January and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Most diverse children’s novels I have seen in bookstores seem to be about teaching life lessons and accepting everyone the way we are. That’s great, but one of the things I most enjoyed about Saving Kabul Corner is that the story is based more on the actual plot of the story (saving the store, running a business, ect) than life lessons.
Ariana is a wonderful character to read about. She’s independent, curious and goal-oriented, someone I would love to be friends with in real life. Her cousin Laila is completely different, but their relationship ended up being something I really enjoyed.
While the plot wasn’t a fast-paced thriller or anything along those lines, it was a really sweet, interesting story. Ariana’s family’s shop is in danger of being shut down since a more successful, new store recently opened at the same plaza. At the same time, Ariana is struggling with adjusting to living with her cousin and problems at school. I think this would be relatable to tween readers since, well, everyone struggles with fitting in and adjusting to new changes, after all.
I only learned that this book is actually a sequel to another MG novel called Shooting Kabul after I finished Saving Kabul Corner. I didn’t struggle to understand the story, so N.H. Senzai did a great job with that. Saving Kabul Corner can easily stand on its own and if you’re looking for a diverse MG novel to check out, I can easily recommend this one! Four stars!