Mobin-Uddin, Asma

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Mobin-Uddin, Asma

Personal

Born in FL; married; children. Education: Ohio State University, B.S.; Ohio State University College of Medicine, M.D. Hobbies and other interests: Traveling, public speaking, spending time with family.

Addresses

Home—OH. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Boyds Mills Press, 815 Church St., Honesdale, PA 18431. E-mail[email protected]

Career

Pediatrician and writer.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Council on American-Islamic Relations (president of Ohio chapter), Interfaith Association of Central Ohio (past member of education committee).

Awards, Honors

Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, 2006, for My Name Is Bilal.

Writings

My Name Is Bilal, illustrated by Barbara Kiwak, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 2005.

Contributor of articles to Columbus Dispatch and Religion News Service.

Work in Progress

The Best Eid Holiday Ever, illustrated Laura Jacobsen, for Boyds Mills Press, forthcoming late 2007.

Sidelights

Asma Mobin-Uddin is a pediatrician who has taken time off from her pediatric practice to raise her children. In addition to being a full-time mother, she has made her publishing debut with My Name Is Bilal, with which she inspires young readers to be true to themselves and cherish their identity instead of being afraid of what others might think of them. My Name Is Bilal follows brother and sister Bilal and Ayesha, who start a new school in a U.S. town. As the only Muslim children, they are greeted with teasing from some bullies due to Ayesha's headscarf. However, their teacher, Mr. Ali, is also Muslim, and with his support and reassurance the children learn that they have an important place in the local culture and gain the self-confidence to stand up for themselves. Carolyn Phelan, writing in Booklist, commented that Mobin-Uddin's book provides "a good starting place for discussions of cultural differences, prejudice, and respect for the beliefs of others," while Kathleen E. Gruver stated in School Library Journal that with its "well-done treatment of a subject not often seen in children's picture books," My Name Is Bilal"will enhance discussions of cultural diversity and understanding." The Council on Islamic Education and the Islamic Networks Group both endorsed the book and included it on their recommended reading lists for educators.

On her home page, Mobin-Uddin explained that the search for suitable reading materials for her own children inspired her to become a writer. "I had difficulty finding good books about Muslim kids to read to them," she explained. "Many of the books I found in local libraries about Muslims were stereotypical and many of them were about camels or sultans or something else that is as foreign to the Muslim-American experience as it is to any other American experience. Even when the books were written in a sensitive way, they were almost always set in some far-away location, not in America…. So I had two main reasons for starting to write books for children. I wanted to introduce accu-rate books about the Muslim-American experience to the general American community, and I wanted to write books that Muslim-American kids would see themselves in."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of My Name Is Bilal, p. 2029.

Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2005, review of My Name Is Bilal, p. 739.

Ohioana Quarterly, Jennifer Zaranek, review of My Name Is Bilal, p. 547.

Publishers Weekly, August 29, 2005, review of My Name Is Bilal, p. 61.

School Library Journal, August, 2005, Kathleen E. Gruver, review of My Name Is Bilal, p. 103.

ONLINE

Asma Mobin-Uddin Home Page, http://www.asmamobinuddin.com (June 6, 2006).