To mark #IslamicBookDay , we have asked a number of authors some questions in the hope that this will inspire a new wave of Islamic literature for children. If you have a desire to write, or have little ones who have shown an interest in writing, this may give you some motivation!
First up, Najiyah Maxfield, author of Sophia’s Journal.
1. What’s your favourite Islamic children’s book?
Currently it’s 365 Days with the Prophet Muhammad by Nurdan Damla. I also love The Story of the Elephant pop up book.
2. As a child, what did you aspire to be?
Well, I always wanted to write. I wrote my first book in the fourth grade. For awhile in high school I wanted to be a lawyer, but when I realized lawyers didn’t really spend all their time fighting for the little guy, I settled on writing.
3. What advice do you have for children wanting to write a book?
1) READ. And read and read and read. And when you read, do it with with a writer’s eye. Pay attention to how other authors describe what their character looks like (do they have her look in a mirror? Describe her through someone else’s eyes?), or how many different ways they say, “he said” without using the word said (He moans, he spat, he laughed, etc).
2) Don’t let being young stop you! I know of a published author who is 9 years old! If you have the writing bug, write! And use Createspace or similar platforms to publish your writing. It’s legit and I think people are really interested in reading young people’s perspectives and creative productions.
Thank you Najiyah!