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Saints and Misfits

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Saints and Misfits—a William C. Morris Award finalist and an Entertainment Weekly Best YA Book of the Year—is a “timely and authentic” (School Library Journal, starred review) debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

There are three kinds of people in my world:

1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose.

2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me—the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama’s-Boy-Muhammad.

Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds.

But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right?

3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories.

Like the monster at my mosque.

People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask.

Except me.

Photograph by Andrea Stenson

S. K. Ali is the author of Saints and Misfits, a finalist for the American Library Association’s 2018 William C. Morris Award and the winner of the APALA Honor Award and Middle East Book Honor Award; and Love from A to Z, a Today show’s Read with Jenna Book Club selection. Both novels were named best YA books of the year by various media including Entertainment Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. You can find Sajidah online at SKAlibooks.com, and follow her on Instagram @SKAlibooks and on Twitter at @SajidahWrites.

  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List High School Title
  • Nutmeg Book Award Nominee (CT)
  • NYPL Best Books for Teens
  • High School Sequoyah Book award Master List (OK)
  • TAYSHAS Reading List (TX)
  • APALA Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature
  • Amelia Bloomer Selection List - TOP TEN
  • Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Selection Title
  • ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults - Top Ten
  • ALA/William C. Morris Award Finalist
  • Isinglass Award Nominee
  • Land of Enchantment Black Bear Book Award Nominee

More books from this author: S. K. Ali

More books in this series: Saints and Misfits