Hena Khan is the author of many books for children, notably the middle grade book Amina’s Voice. She is Pakistani-American and Muslim, was born in Maryland, and enjoys writing books that share her culture and religion. She writes many kinds of stories, including adventure, space travel, and spy books. Her favorite animals are penguins and peacocks, and her favorite dessert is ice cream. She also loves to talk about her books with the kids who read them! You can learn more about Hena at henakhan.com.
What did you think of this book? Did you like it? Why or why not?
Do you usually like reading books about sports? Did you like that this book was about basketball? What else is this book about (what are the book’s themes)?
Zayd is currently on the D league for basketball—what is the name of the team is he trying to make?
Zayd lied to his parents so that he could play basketball in the mornings instead of going to violin class. Do you think he could have done something differently?
What other language, besides English, does Naano— Zayd’s grandmother—speak?
Zayd’s stomach hurts a lot, and his mom has him keep a food diary to track if he notices foods that make him feel sick. His cousin challenges him to eat a lot so he will grow more. His mother is very interested in eating healthy. Do you have any tips for Zayd about eating well and taking care of his body so that he can keep growing and playing sports?
Do you remember some of the foods that the book talks about? Is there anything new in here that you haven’t tried but would like to?
Do you think it’s a good idea that Zayd stopped playing violin to focus on basketball? Why or why not?
What are your favorite parts of this book? What parts did you like less?
At the end of the book, what does Jamal Mamoo—Zayd’s cousin—buy for Zayd for making gold team?
Check out Hena Khan’s Activities and Resources for Kids!
Visit the author’s website henakhan.com/for-kids to find writing prompts, an art project, and a recipe for mango lassi to make at home! On this page, you can also find interviews with the author.
Try Some of these Basketball Games
Check out the website activekids.com to try 11 different basketball games to practice your shooting accuracy and game endurance.
Sometimes, it’s hard to decide how to spend your time. Zayd really wants to get better at basketball, but with school, violin, friends, and family, he’s having a hard time.
How do you want to be spending your time?
Make a list of all the things you have to do (your responsibilities) and all the things you want to do. Then spend some time thinking about how you can get your responsibilities done while still making time for the things you love. Are there other things you are willing to give up or do less often?
About Battle of the Books Battle of the Books is a book group for 4th graders, offered by NOLS in collaboration with schools in Clallam County. Students, including homeschool students, can sign up through their teachers to participate and receive a free copy of each book. From November through March, Library staff will hold book discussions with participating classrooms.