Asalamu Alaikum readers!
Insha'Allah this finds you doing great! We are so excited to present to you our Author Interview Series! We were recently introduced to to Noor Abdelrahman, author of Everyone is Smart, through our friend, educator Noha Sharkawey. (Side note: Noha runs a great blog, Sugar and Garlic, that has some amazing recipes, and lots of great activities for you and your families!) Everyone is Smart introduces young readers to Howard Gardner's eight areas of multiple intelligence, and helps children learn that there are many ways to be smart.
When we met Noor, we knew we wanted her to be on the blog. We are so excited about Everyone is Smart, and want you to get to know a little but more about the author. Below is our interview with Noor. Please take a read and let us know if you have any questions for our featured author, and we will be sure to get answers for you.
1-Can you tell us your story and a little bit about yourself?
I am an elementary school teacher and I have been teaching for several years. I have always had a passion for reading and writing, and I strongly emphasize both subjects in my classroom. My love for these two subjects has allowed me to publish my very own children's book.
2-When did your passion for writing start and what was your first book? Tell us about your book.
My passion for writing started when I was in elementary school. I wrote stories for fun during my free time and was inspired by my fifth grade teacher. That was when I first realized I wanted to become an author. After years of teaching and working with children, I decided it was time to contribute my own work to children's literature. I was fortunate enough to follow my dream and publish my first book Everyone is Smart.
3-What do you want aspiring Muslim authors out there to know about the writing process, publishing, etc?
As a teacher, I constantly reinforce the importance of writing to my students. I challenge them to 'just write' without any worries. This particular strategy has helped me immensely as a writer. I encourage all authors to take a similar approach and to know that there are no boundaries to their imaginations.
4-What would you say has been your biggest challenge in writing your book?
The biggest challenge I faced was thinking of an original plot. I wanted to make sure that I told a story that had not yet been written. I also wanted a realistic story, so I based my book on personal events and experiences.
5- What has been your biggest win in writing?
My biggest win was creating a story with a very unique and valuable life lesson. I wanted my readers to be able to relate to my story.
6-Are you currently writing another book? if so can you tell us a little bit about it?
I currently am not writing another book, however, I do hope this book will be the first of many.
7-What message would you like to send to parents about the importance of reading Muslim books to children and specifically to strengthen their Islamic identity?
As an American Muslim, I was exposed to very few Islamic books that depicted my values and beliefs. This made it difficult to find stories that I could relate to my own personal experiences. It is far more rewarding when a child can read a book and make more personal connections to the characters and their narrative. Such books will entitle Muslim children to a sense of belonging and comfort, which in turn will help them to preserve and advance their Muslim identity.
8-Tell us more about your book specifically and what inspired you to write it?
My book is a child friendly introduction to Multiple Intelligences. I spent a great deal of time studying Multiple Intelligences during my master's program, as it was the topic of my master's thesis. I understood the true meaning of 'being smart,' which became the premise of my book. Unfortunately, many children are under the impression that there is only one way to be considered smart. My book will educate young readers about all eight areas of intelligences. In turn this will enhance their learning and self esteem.
9-How do you feel about HoneyTree Books as a service to empower young Muslim Children?
I think HoneyTree Books is a great service for Muslim children. It helps them understand the true meaning of Islam through a wide selection of stories. It also motivates them to read for pleasure by making reading enjoyable and something to look forward to.
10-Where can we buy Everyone is Smart?
Thank you so much Noor for letting us interview you and for the great story you've written! We wish you every sucess Inshallah.
The HoneyTree Team