Storyteller: Heba Helmy

Heba holds an MA in English Literature and a Ph.D. in Language and Literacies (both from the University of Toronto, Canada). A former Islamic high school teacher and current college adjunct, her academic research and practice focuses on culturally sustaining narratives and equitable language education. She writes for the Muslim kids who want to have all the adventures and “feel all the feels” that great stories can provide! Her YA Historical Fantasy novel was featured in Pitchwars 2020.

How will Muslim children see themselves in your stories?

“I want Muslim readers to see characters like themselves –girls and boys having adventures, falling in love, learning what it means to trust themselves and their place in the world without having the world dictate what they “should” be like. I want Muslim children who read my stories to enjoy great writing and propulsive plots that make them stay up all night. I want them to find representations and friends in my characters — be gobsmacked by twists they didn’t see coming, feel “all the things” with emotional passages, have lively debates about whether they are “team X” or “team Y” like they do with other favourite books :)”

Heba Helmy

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Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit

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