The House Of Ibn Kathir : Year Captain
Publisher : Blackstone House - UK
Recommended Age Group: 10 years and above
Were you a book worm growing up as a child? Some of us may have fond memories glued to a book, reading children's classics such as those by CS Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Roald Dahl's George's Marvelous Medicine or even Enid Blyton's Famous Five, to name but a few. In fact, reading can become a big part of a child's life. So when we become parents, it is no surprise that we wish for our children to share in some of those happy memories too. But as Muslim parents, we are also aware of the importance and the need to teach our youngsters about their own traditional Islamic values and the rich heritage that has preceded us.
Whilst there are plenty of Islamic picture books for the early year's readership, what happens when they grow a little older, wiser and look for more depth, excitement and adventure in the literature they wish to read? Naturally they turn to some of the classics like those mentioned before – which is great, but wouldn't it be even better if they could enjoy similar stories, but with characters that they can really relate to?
Characters with names, backgrounds and values that they can directly identify with and share. Characters that help them understand their own Muslim identity as something to celebrate; to be confident with who they are. They could learn about heroes of the past, such as the Prophets and famous figures of history, whose examples as role models are as applicable today as they ever were. They could gain a better understanding of their Islamic heritage, learn Islamic knowledge, as well as expanding their worldly knowledge; whether it's developing literacy skills, learning new facts or simply feeding their imagination.
The House Of Ibn Kathir : Year Captain by SN Jalali is an exciting chapter book written for older Muslim children. A book where traditional story telling is interwoven with Islamic knowledge and values creating a fun, adventure packed, new genre for Muslim Children to read.
It's Yusif's second year at the Dar Al Ilm Academy for Boys, and his new role as Year Captain is proving to be a lot harder than he had ever anticipated. As trouble brews in the School Council, and the Headmaster's 'mystery plans' unfold, the pressures of being a leader mount up. Yusif begins to wonder if he is really cut out for the job. But with help from Reda, Warsoma, Daud and the other boys from the House of Ibn Kathir, will he be able to step up to the mark?
Suitable for ages 10 years and above, with diverse characters.
Meet The Characters
Assalamu alaikum, my name is Yusif Abdur-Raheem. When my parents told me that I was going away to a boarding school, it came as a huge shock! With all the new faces and surroundings – I don’t mind admitting I was a bit scared of starting my new school. But now that I am here, things aren’t so bad after all. The teachers are great, mashallah, and I've made some good friends.
One of my ambitions at the school is to try to memorise the Qur’an, inshallah. I know it’s not going to be easy - lessons start early straight after fajr prayer. I’d better make sure that I get an early night sleep… which is not easy when you share a room with three other boys who have a lot to say!
Assalamu alaikum! My name is Warsoma Ghalib. My family are originally from Somalia and I have four brothers and two sisters. I’m one of the youngest in the family, so I often get teased by my older brothers, but it’s all fun really.
I’ve been at Dar Al Ilm since little school, so I know the place pretty well. My favourite subjects are science, maths, history ... well most subjects actually! But there’s one lesson I hate and could really do without – PE!
Assalamu alaikum, my name is Reda Hussein, and I love sports. Since I’ve been at Dar Al Ilm I’ve been captain of the football team, opening batsman at cricket matches, and I’ve even picked up a bow and arrow in Lower Fields during junior archery lessons.
But the thing I love most of all is the inter-house matches. It was the best day when I found out I was in the House of Ibn Kathir. So, I'm going to do my best to make sure we come out on top in the House competitions, inshallah!
Assalamu alaikum! My name is Daud Llewellyn-Jones and I come from a town in West Wales. I love maths and astronomy. My father has big telescope at our home, and I love looking at the planets and constellations. It was the love of astronomy that led my father to find Islam.
I don’t get much time to look at the stars any more when I’m at school. I’ve got a jam-packed timetable to get through and I’m still working hard on my tajweed class - not my best subject, but Ustad Ibrahim says I’m getting better every day ...
Looking past the boys, Yusif’s eyes narrowed thoughtfully as they searched along the far distant horizon, as though the answer lay hidden along the fringe of trees that obscured the skyline.
'Ya Allah, what should I do?' he wondered to himself, as he mulled over the problem again and again, chewing his lower lip until at last, his irresolute mind was forced to make a decision.
Suddenly a nearby flutter of wings and the squawking cry of a moorhen fleeing from its place of roost brought Yusif out of his thoughts. Just a few feet away there arose several curious disturbances in a nearby thicket, following in very quick succession, interrupting the peace.
Leaves jostled, and the branches of the thicket began to shudder wildly. A sharp, whipping fracture of twigs pierced the air. A hornet and a pair of dragonflies that had been hovering hitherto harmoniously with nature suddenly scattered away in fright. It looked like something ominous was about to emerge from the undergrowth. Warsoma reeled with shock, trembling. Suspicion resurrected in his mind.
“I-Is it ... a wolf?” faltered Warsoma, pointing towards the thicket in panic.
“No, it can’t be, I thought you said wolves are extinct ... aren't they akhi?” gulped Azmi uneasily, not daring to move a muscle. Azmi knew about all manner of dangerous creatures that lurked in the jungles of Malaysia but what about the English countryside?
“W-Wolves are extinct … my grandfather says the worst you can find in the woods is an adder,” stammered Daud with a growing feeling of dread.
The disturbance in the bushes grew louder. Branches snapped and shuddered now more vehemently than before. Scared of snakes, Daud took a step back along with the other boys.
“That's one big snake, if that's what it is!” retorted Reda doubtfully, the only one bold (and crazy) enough to edge forward for a closer inspection.
Suddenly, two crooked branches flew portentously aside, as they parted beneath a canopy of leaves. Through the darkness of the bushes and foliage stepped out a lithe, shadowy figure.
Title: The House Of Ibn Kathir : Year Captain
Author: S. N. Jalali
Publisher: Blackstone House - UK
Size: 13 cm x 20 cm
Edition Number: 1st
Year Of Publication: 2019
Recommended Age Group: 10 years and above
Weight: 0.28 kg
Nazia Jalali writing as S N Jalali is a Children's author whose debut novel, The House Of Ibn Kathir – The Competition Begins, was published in 2013 by Blackstone House Publications, an Independent Publishing House. The book has been sold across five continents. It is written for older Muslim children (free readers aged 10+) and introduces a unique genre that aspires to reconnect youngsters through a literary contribution to their rich Islamic heritage and values.
S N Jalali was born in London, UK, but much of her childhood was spent growing up in South Wales, although she returned to London for university studies. After completion of her degree in 1998 with a BA (hons) in Architecture she married and continues to reside in London. She has travelled widely around the Muslim world and as well as her children’s writing has worked as a scriptwriter and presenter for various programmes on the Islam Channel.
Customer ReviewsWrite a review
The book has a very appealing cover and title along with a very good storyline.
It's great for making children aware of their Muslim identity and inculcate God conciousness in every aspect of their lives . I hope the writer continues to write more in the series. Ameen.
My 10 year old is thoroughly enjoying reading it.