Welcome to SCBWI-MI's NEW Book Birthday Blog!
Where we celebrate new books by Michigan's children's book authors and illustrators
BIG congratulations to Shayma Mustafa on the release of her book,
EXCUSE ME MAAM, EXCUSE ME SIR I'M AMINA, AN ALL AMERICAN GIRL
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Growing up, my sisters and I were always being asked, "Where are you REALLY from?" While some people were relentless, others were kind. At a very young age, my parents taught us how to reply gracefully, patiently, and with understanding. Fast forward 30 years, I didn't think my children would grow up having to answer the same question.
At the tender age of 8, my eldest daughter became very frustrated having been asked many times where she was from. Each time she answers, "I'm from Michigan", people were still asking as if the answer didn't satisfy their curiosity! This prompted me to have a sit-down discussion with my own children and spread the message that we are all American.
What was the most difficult part of writing this book?
When writing this book, I had one goal in mind- reaching audiences of different kinds. Having said that, being able to choose user-friendly words and trying to gauge my tone to convey the message of being one; regardless of our differences was probably the difficult task of writing this book.
In the voice of your main character, tell us what you hope readers will experience or learn while reading your book.
America is a great melting pot. Everyone came from somewhere and although we all have roots and different ethnicities, in the end, we make up this ONE great country we call America. My main character, Amina, will journey around various states encouraging her readers to share their similarities and celebrate their differences as we all live together.
Additionally, I would hope my readers walk away with the notion that there is no one description of what an American should look like.
Who is your author idol and how have they influenced your work?
I admire many authors and their works in the children genre, however, one who stands out and I respect and admire is Mr.Oliver Jeffers. His simplicity, sincerity, and honesty are reflected in his books and I love that! I took that notion too and just wrote from the heart.
What are your marketing plans for your book? Where can we find it?
The book is available for sale on Amazon. I have also begun to book author visits for school & library appearances. Additionally, I will be participating in local book fests & fairs in and around Michigan. You can also follow me on Instagram @Aminaanallamericang
A little bit about the book:
Have you ever been asked, “Where are you from?”, simply
because you look or dress differently? Although Amina was
born and raised in America, she is constantly asked the same
question because she doesn’t look “American”.
Being American means being different.
So, join Amina on her adventure as she travels through
different states; highlighting America’s beauty and embracing
its many scenic features, yet remaining ONE United States.
Because in the end, like every state is one of a kind, so is
every American, including Amina!
A little about Shayma: Shayma Mustafa is a teacher, mother of 5 children, and a self-declared
bibliophile. She graduated from Wayne State University earning her Master’s
degree in Educational Leadership & Administration making her a SUPER geek.
Shayma lives in Dearborn Heights, Michigan where she currently works from
home and enjoys watching episodes of Shark Tank. When she’s not busy with
everyday life, Shayma finds happiness in the simple pleasures of coffee and shiplap!
Contact info: Shayma Mustafa
If you have a book coming out and would like to be a featured guest on this blog, please email Jodi McKay- Jodi@JodiMcKayBooks.com
We would love to share your great news!