Sisterhood: Through the prism #Guespost by Niyla Farook

Sisterhood: Through the prism 

Hi. My name is Niyla Farook and I’m the author of RIDA AND MADIYA, a middle-grade novel about sisterhood featuring a desi family, desi food, a diverse cast (including a biracial girl, a nonbinary character, and Muslim, Sikh and Jewish characters), lots of silliness and a splash of seriousness. It’s perfect for—well, anyone. Anyone seeking a laugh. Whatever age or gender you are, I guarantee you, you’ll love it. At the very least, you’d be smirking instead of holding your belly with uncontrollable laughter.


At its heart, RIDA AND MADIYA is a book about sisterhood. Don’t believe me? Check out the blurbs provided by some amazing women of colour authors:

‘A delightfully funny and heart-warming story about sisterhood and working together. The characters practically leap off the page.’ —Aisha Bushby, Author of ‘A Pocketful of Stars’ and the ‘Moonchild’ series 

‘A realistic lens into the hardships and joys of sisterhood. Rida and Madiya felt like characters I knew intimately, and I couldn’t help but cheer them on together.’ —M.T. Khan, Author of Nura and the Immortal Palace 

‘A sweet, funny story about the ups and downs of sisterhood. Rida and Madiya are lively, endearing characters that readers will love.’ —Radiya Hafiza, Author of ‘Rumaysa: A Fairytale’ and Rumaysa: Ever After’ 

The common denominator in all of these blurbs (aside from being overwhelmingly kind) is one word. Sisterhood. So, it’s only right that I talk about it in this guest post. Only, my definition of ‘sisterhood’ goes through the prism. Yes, you have the biological version of sisterhood but there’s also sisterhood containing friends, people of no relation.

I think sisters are amazing—not to brag, but I have many (one who is biologically my sister, and a handful who are not). I’d love to say that my biological sister is the only one who sees the unfiltered version of me but that isn’t the case; all my sisters bring out my authentic self. To me, sisterhood can involve anyone who makes you feel great, who you can rely on, and who is real (in the sense of being able to tell you if that colour doesn’t suit you, or if you have broccoli in your teeth).

To my biological sister, I love you and have done since day one (despite our ups and down, which are totally common), and that love will be forever. To my non-biological sisters, I’m so glad our paths crossed when they did (another note: sisterhood doesn’t have to have a minimum amount of time to qualify as such). May we all be the sunshine on each other’s rainy days. Even if we drift apart and meet again, even if we annoy each other sometimes.

One other thing I’d like to mention is that opposites attract, and that’s especially the case when it comes to sisterhood. For example, Rida has a Type C, more introverted personality whereas Madiya has a Type A, more extroverted personality. Similar personalities can be compatible but opposites involve one having a strength where the other has a weakness (which is exactly the case in RIDA AND MADIYA).

I’m going to be recommending some of my favourite books that encapsulate sisterhood through the prism. There’s a mixture of adult, young adult, and middle-grade books, in-verse and not, and fantasy and contemporary, so I hope you find at least one that’ll be your cup of tea. So, without further ado…

  1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber: Young Adult Fantasy

Scarlett enters a deadly game to save her sister Tela from a mysterious circus-like game. It’s dark, lushly written, and shines a light on how far you can go when a loved one’s life is on the line.

  1. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: Adult Thriller

Like the title says, Korede’s younger sister, Ayoola, is a serial killer of her boyfriends, and Korede’s crush might be Ayoola’s next victim. This novella explores the sacrifices of sisterhood.

  1. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo: Young Adult Contemporary

Cami lives in the Dominican Republic and Yaya lives in New York City, living completely different lives. Their worlds turn upside down when they realize that they’re half-sisters. This is a poetic and beautiful book that authentically expresses grief and redefines sisterhood.

  1. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary: Middle Grade Contemporary

Beezus and Ramona are sisters who do not get along at all. This classic novel chronicles their wild relationship. It’s a rollercoaster ride that you’ll never want to get off of.

  1. Rumaysa: A Fairyale by Radiya Hafiza: Middle Grade Fantasy

Princesses helping each other out? Eid balls? Hijabi main character? Yes, yes, yes! I’ve read this book so many times and love it even more each time.

  1. When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten: Middle Grade Contemporary

How delicately and simultaneously raw memory loss and mental health is portrayed in this novel is phenomenal. It is truly breath-taking, and Clara is one of my favourite characters.

Comment below to tell me something about your sister(s), what your favourite books are involving sisterhood, and if you’re more Rida or Madiya.

I hope this post has been simultaneously fun and informative Please consider buying it. If you do, take pictures and tag me in them! My handles are @niylafarook 

Thank you so much to Luna’s Little Library for this amazing opportunity.

Luna: You are super welcome 🙂

imageNiyla Farook is a young writer of South Asian descent living in England. She works full-time at a hospital pharmacy whilst also volunteering for the United Nations when she’s not writing.

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