2024 FOLD Kids Challenge - April - The FOLD

2024 FOLD Kids Challenge — April

A book by a Sikh Author

By Rahma Shere

Happy spring! For this month, we’re highlighting three books featuring stories by Sikh authors that act as a means of reclaiming identity and healing. In Jasmin Kaur’s sophomore YA novel, If I Tell You The Truth, a mother and daughter find courage and community to heal as they navigate past trauma and fear in a new country. The picture book, My Name is Saajin Sigh, shows the importance of properly pronouncing names and owning our cultural identity are beautifully illustrated. And the other picture book, Kamal’s Kes, is a body-positive story about body hair. We hope these books inspire you to seek representation and empowerment in communities we all call home.

Book cover of If I Tell You the Truth by Jasmin Kaur featuring an illustration of a purple hands holding onto each other.
If I Tell You the Truth by Jasmin Kaur (Young Adult)

Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Rupi Kaur, this heartrending story told in prose, poetry, and illustration weaves together the stories of a mother and daughter’s lives.

In this stunning sophomore novel, acclaimed writer Jasmin Kaur explores trauma, fear, courage, community, and the healing power of love in its many forms.

Kiran flees her home in Punjab for a fresh start in Canada after a sexual assault leaves her pregnant. But overstaying her visa and living undocumented brings its own perils for both her and her daughter, Sahaara.

Sahaara would do anything to protect her mother. When she learns the truth about Kiran’s past, she feels compelled to seek justice—even if it means challenging a powerful and dangerous man.

if i tell you the truth

that i’ve dug

from the hardened depths

of this shrapnel-filled dirt

with these aching, bloody hands

would you believe me?

would you still love me?

Author Bio Buy Book
Book cover of My Name is Saajin Singh by Kuljinder Kaur Brar and Samrath Kaur featuring an illustration of a Sikh boy walking to school.
My Name Is Saajin Singh by Kuljinder Kaur Brar, illustrated by Samrath Kaur (Picture Book)
A debut picture book that explores the importance of pronouncing names properly and celebrates cultural identity.Saajin loves his name—he loves it so much that he sees it spelled out in the world around him in his snacks, in the sky and sometimes he even sings it aloud. On his first day of school, Saajin is excited to meet his new classmates, but things take a turn when the teacher mispronounces his name as Say-jin and he is not sure how—or if he should—correct her. After trying to live with the different version of his name for a while and some thoughtful conversations with his family about the meaning behind it, Saajin realizes the importance of reclaiming his name and embracing his identity. This empowering story, accompanied by energetic and vibrant art by Samrath Kaur, will resonate with any reader who has ever felt misunderstood.
Author Bio Illustrator Bio Buy Book
Book cover of Kamal's Kes by Baljinder Kaur featuring an illustration of a little girl whose hair makes up the title and is surrounded by flowers.
Kamal's Kes by Baljinder Kaur (Picture Book)

Kamal’s Kes is a body-positive picture book, rooted in dismantling standards of beauty that harm the mental health of young persons. With such few representations of body hair in picture books, cultural conditioning sends the message of feeling ashamed of natural hair. This Own Voices story offers young girls an empowering choice when it comes to their developing body hair. Kamal will have to confront her deepest thoughts to reimagine what beautiful means to her.

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