Zara’s Rules for Record-Breaking Fun book review | Queen of the Neighborhood

Zara
Zara’s Rules for Record Breaking Fun by Hena Khan, illustrated by Wastana Haikal
144 pages
publishes April 19th, 2022

Meet Zara Saleem, the queen of the neighborhood.

Zara’s in charge of it all: she organizes the games, picks the teams, and makes sure everyone has a good time…and they always do.

When a new family moves in across the street, suddenly Zara’​s reign is threatened by Naomi, who has big ideas of her own about how the neighborhood kids can have fun. To get everyone to notice her again, Zara decides she’s going to break a Guinness World Record—if her little brother Zayd doesn’t mess things up.

But when she finds herself increasingly alone in her record-breaking quest, Zara starts to wonder if sharing the crown and making a new friend might end up being the best rule of all.

This is a cute and fun middle grade book! Zara struggles with summer problems typical for an elementary school – new kids move into the neighborhood and changes are hard! AND she has an annoying younger brother. Also, Zara lives in a diverse neighborhood and there’s a lot of food representation — I especially loved seeing Naomi bring over rugelach to share (and try to make a Giant Rugelach later). This is a great addition to any elementary schooler’s library, with fun illustrations and great writing. Also every time someone calls Zara the “queen of the neighborhood” I hear the Linda Lindas covering Rebel Girl. Five stars.

Bookshop link.

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