“Golden Girl cements Faruqi’s place as one of the brightest rising stars in children’s literature.” — Bookpage, starred review

When Reem Faruqi taught second grade, her favorite time was “Read Aloud” time. Now, her favorite time at home is reading with her daughters. Reem Faruqi is the award-winning author of “Lailah’s Lunchbox,” a picture book based on her own experiences as a young Muslim girl immigrating to the United States. Of Pakistani origin, Reem moved to Peachtree City, Georgia, from Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, when she was 13 years old.

She’s also the author of her three middle grade novels in verse, “Unsettled”(HarperCollins 2021), “Golden Girl” (HarperCollins 2022), “Call Me Adnan”(HarperCollins 2023), chapter book “Anisa’s International Day”(HarperCollins 2022), and picture books “Amira’s Picture Day”(Holiday House 2021), “I Can Help”(Eerdmans 2021), “Milloo’s Mind”(HarperCollins 2023), “Swimming Toward a Dream” (Page Street Kids 2023), many of which received starred reviews. She has two upcoming picture books releasing in 2024, “The House Without Lights” and “Do You Even Know Me?” Reem seasonally works as a photographer and currently works as a Scheduler for the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. She has a masters in elementary education and loves to doodle, write, and take photos. Currently, she lives with her husband and daughters in Atlanta.

Reem's Featured Titles

The House Without Lights: A glowing celebration of joy, warmth, and home

Henry Holt and Co. |

In this heartwarming holiday picture book, House misses being decorated for the winter holidays . . . but is delighted to be lit up for Eid instead.

After seeing all of its neighbors’ twinkling lights for the winter holidays, House hopes to shine too. When Huda and her family move in, House thinks its time to sparkle has finally come.

But, Diwali, Hanukkah, and Christmas come and go without a shimmer. Quickly, House learns that every family celebrates joy and togetherness in their own way, no matter the season. And a few months later House will see that this new family has its own holiday to shine for.

This book is sure to be a holiday classic, complete with back matter about the holidays mentioned, including the one House lights up for–Eid.

Do You Even Know Me?

HarperCollins |

From award-winning author Reem Faruqi, of Amira’s Picture Day, Lailah’s Lunchbox, Milloo’s Mind, and Unsettled, comes an empowering picture book about a girl who stands up for her Muslim culture and identity and counters bullying with love, peace, and kindness.

My name is Salma, which means peace. Islam also means peace. I wish more people knew that.

Salma is Muslim, an identity she takes pride in. But not everyone understands Salma’s religion the way she does, including news reporters, and even a boy in her class, who bullies Salma for belonging to the culture and faith she loves. However, when things go too far, Salma says, “Enough is enough!” and finds the courage to defend herself while also spreading a message of peace.

Swimming Toward a Dream: Yusra Mardini’s Incredible Journey from Refugee to Olympic Swimmer

Page Street Kids |
Children’s Biographies

Growing up in Damascus, the pool was Yusra Mardini’s happy place. She learned to swim before she could walk. And with swimming came a dream―to compete in the Olympic games.

But when war came to Syria, Yusra’s home―and her pool―were no longer safe. Yusra and her sister set out on a harrowing journey, crossing the sea in search of safety.

In the inspirational tale that follows, Yusra’s courageous spirit shines. Crammed on a too-small refugee boat, disaster strikes when the boat’s motor breaks! Scared but determined, Yusra plunges into the water and starts swimming.

Infused with hope, Yusra’s story encourages readers to pursue their own dreams, revealing how she met waves of danger with strength and perseverance. One breath at a time.

Readers will dive into this courageous tale of an athlete, refugee, and hero who inspired the world with her resolve to pursue her Olympic dream.

Golden Girl

HarperCollins |
Middle Grade

From the award-winning, ALA Notable author of Unsettled and Lailah’s Lunchbox, this is a captivating coming-of-age middle grade novel in verse about seventh grader Aafiyah Qamar, a Pakistani American girl who hatches a special plan to help her family but finds that doing what’s right isn’t always easy.

For fans of The Thing About Jellyfish and Clean Getaway, this is a heartfelt, soul-searching story with laughter, hope, and lessons learned.

Seventh grader Aafiyah loves playing tennis, reading Weird but True facts, and hanging out with her best friend, Zaina. However, Aafiyah has a bad habit that troubles her—she’s drawn to pretty things and can’t help but occasionally “borrow” them.

But when her father is falsely accused of a crime he hasn’t committed and gets taken in by authorities, Aafiyah knows she needs to do something to help. When she brainstorms a way to bring her father back, she turns to her Weird but True facts and devises the perfect plan.

But what if her plan means giving in to her bad habit, the one she’s been trying to stop? Aafiyah wants to reunite her family but finds that maybe her plan isn’t so perfect after all. . .

A Bank Street Books Best Children’s Book of the Year for ages 12-14 in Family/School/Community Fiction (2023)


Read Aloud and Q&A with Reem

Read Aloud and Quick Q&A: Interactive read aloud of one of the following picture books: Lailah’s Lunchbox/Amira’s Picture Day/I Can Help/ Milloo’s Mind/Swimming Toward a Dream/Anisa’s International Day and a brief Q&A session. Reem also offer behind-the-scenes information about the creation of the book. (30 minute sessions typically!)


Verse Presentation

Read Aloud of a few pages of Unsettled/Golden Girl/Call Me Adnan: Reem will share passages that were inspired by her life, why she chose to write in verse, and encourage readers to use their own experiences in their writing, followed by a brief Q&A session.


Lailah's Lunchbox: Writing Process

Writing Process: Please read Lailah’s Lunchbox before hand with your students. Reem will share the stages of the writing process, how to use your own experiences in writing, and share strategies of how to make your writing shine!


Picture Books: From Opening Line to Published Manuscript

Reem will discuss how to create a strong opening for your picture book and give examples of successful books from the kidlit world. She will offer insight on using one’s personal experiences in stories. She will give ten tips on navigating the process of getting an agent and publisher, inevitable rejections, and what the process is like fine tuning edits with an editor. She will discuss the stages of going from a rough draft to a book. She will conclude her presentation sharing which resources she uses for success and inspiration. (For Writer Conferences)


Keynote on Storytelling

Reem discusses the inspiration behind writing children’s books, what storytelling means to her, and where she gets her ideas from. She also will give diverse book recommendations and a sneak peek into what she’s writing next.

Reem’s Link For Kids

Reem’s Link for Writers

Reem’s Link for Teachers

Reem’s Interviews Link

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Amira’s Picture Day
3 Starred Reviews!
ALA Notable Book 2022
Notable Social Studies Trade Book For Young People 2022, a cooperative Project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of the Year
Chicago Public Library Best of 2021 Picture Books
A Center for the Study of Multi Cultural Literature Best Multicultural Children’s Book of the Year
University of Pennsylvania GSE’s Best Books for Young Readers 2021
The Best Children’s Books of the Year 2022 Edition by Children’s Book Committee and Bank Street College of Education


Lailah’s Lunchbox
2019 Daybreak Children’s Picture Book Award — Recognizing Muslim Women’s Contributions to Literature
Notable Social Studies Trade Book For Young People 2016, a cooperative Project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council
Featured Book of the Month, Anti-Defamation League
American Library Association Notable Book for Children 2016
Skipping Stones Honor 2016
International Literacy Association Choices Reading List


National Council of Teachers of English Notable Verse Novel
#1 Indie Bestseller
Kirkus Best Middle Grade Books for 2021
Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Finalist for Older Readers 2022
2021 Nerdy Winner for Novels in Verse and Poetry
University of Pennsylvania GSE’s Best Books for Young Readers 2021
The Best Children’s Books of the Year 2022 Edition by Children’s Book Committee and Bank Street College of Education
Georgia Children’s Book Award Nominees Finalist for 2022-2023


I Can Help
3 starred reviews
Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2021 for ages 6-8
The Best Children’s Books of the Year 2022 Edition by Children’s Book Committee and Bank Street College of Education
A Center for the Study of Multi Cultural Literature Best Multicultural Children’s Book of the Year
2022 Georgia Author of the Year Awards Finalist for Children’s Book
2022 Bock Book Award for Children’s Literature from Neumann University


Golden Girl
The Best Children’s Books of the Year 2023 Edition by Children’s Book Committee and Bank Street College of Education
Best Middle Grade Books of 2022 – BookPage
Georgia Children’s Book Award Nominees Finalist for 2023-2024
2022 Nerdy Winner for Novels in Verse and Poetry
Newburyport Library Favorites of 2022
2022 Kids and Young Adult Bestsellers at Charis Books
Best Children’s Books of 2022 – Feminist Books for Kids


Anisa’s International Day
2023 list of Books All Young Georgians Should Read – Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Milloo’s Mind
A finalist for 2025 Georgia Children’s Picturebook (Gr. K-4) Award
2 starred reviews


Call Me Adnan
Daybreak Press tween fiction award
Cybils Finalist Award
Junior Library Guild selection.


Swimming Toward A Dream
Junior Library Guild Selection

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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