Listen to Owen Bennett-Jones discuss the future of opinion polls with Mark Pack

Salma Hussain

May 11, 2022

The Secret Diary of Mona Hasan

Tundra Books 2022

In this interview we talk to Salma Hussain about her surprisingly candid and revealing middle grade book, The Secret Diary of Mona Hasan (Tundra Books, 2022). Mona Hasan is a young Muslim girl growing up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when the first Gulf War breaks out in 1991. The war isn’t what she expects — “We didn’t even get any days off school! Just my luck” — especially when the ground offensive is over so quickly and her family peels the masking tape off their windows. Her parents, however, fear there is no peace in the region, and it sparks a major change in their lives. Over the course of one year, Mona falls in love, speaks up to protect her younger sister, loses her best friend to the new girl at school, has summer adventures with her cousins in Pakistan, immigrates to Canada, and pursues her ambition to be a feminist and a poet.

SALMA HUSSAIN, author, grew up in the U.A.E., and immigrated to Canada when she was thirteen years old. Her short stories and poems have been published in filling Station, West Coast Line, Other Voices, and in the anthology Homebound: Muslim Women Poetry Collection (Outburst Press). She lives with her family in Toronto.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Mel Rosenberg

Mel Rosenberg is a professor of microbiology (Tel Aviv University, emeritus) who fell in love with children's books as a small child and now writes his own. He is also the founder of Ourboox, a web platform that allows anyone to create and share awesome flipbooks.

Learn More

Also Hosted By Mel Rosenberg