Announcement: I Am Thunder by Muhammed Khan

We have some exciting news to wind down the weke with - we are delighted to welcome Muhammed Khan to the list, with his debut own voices contemporary YA novel I Am Thunder.

Publishing in January 2018, I Am Thunder tells the story of fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem, a shy girl trying to find her place in the world, who is forced to stand up and be heard when she uncovers a dangerous secret. The novel shines a light on the anger and confusion caused by conversations around radicalisation, and handles difficult subjects with honesty and sensitivity. In Muzna, Khan has created a compelling and credible protagonist, whose teenage experience is something each of us can relate to whatever our background.

Venetia Gosling, Publisher 6+ Macmillan Children’s Books, says “Muhammad has created an exceptional teen voice in Muzna Saleem, who leaps from the pages as she navigates the difficulties of growing up in Britain today. This striking debut will encourage readers to question what they see and hear and we are proud to publish such a thought-provoking and empowering story.”

Khan, a high school teacher in South London, says, “In February 2015 news broke of three British school girls who flew out to Syria to join the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’. 

As a Muslim and a high school teacher, I found this shocking on many levels, so in April 2015, over the two week Easter break, I sat down and wrote the first draft of I Am Thunder.

“I wanted it to be a warm hug to my Muslim students who are struggling to reconcile the things they see on the news with the Islam they know, and equally for my non-Muslim students, who might be afraid and confused by what they hear. Hopefully I Am Thunder will help to mitigate some of these feelings. The team at Macmillan Children’s Books embraced my vision from the very beginning and I am proud that they are helping me to tell Muzna’s story.”