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The Gauntlet Hardcover – March 28, 2017
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"Riazi gives readers a Muslim protagonist who resists genre clichés...A solid middle-grade fantasy and an auspicious debut." (Kirkus Reviews 2/15/17)
"Middle grade readers will appreciate the adventure and embrace a tale with a strong protagonist of color." (School Library Journal March 2017)
"Jumanji meets Spy Kids in this action-packed story...An exciting, clever debut." (Booklist Online May 12, 2017)
"Readers who love gaming and adventure will line up to read this book....This will be a popular addition to the fantasy adventure genre in any middle level collection." (School Library Connection August/September 2017)
About the Author
Karuna Riazi is a born and raised New Yorker, with a loving, large extended family and the rather trying experience of being the eldest sibling in her particular clan. Besides pursuing a BA in English literature from Hofstra University, she is an online diversity advocate, blogger, and publishing intern. Karuna is fond of tea, baking new delectable treats for friends and family to relish, Korean dramas, and writing about tough girls forging their own paths toward their destinies. The Gauntlet is her first novel.
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The Gauntlet is a lot of fun to read, and a rollicking adventure. Rather than a morality tale, since Farah is already a magnificent big sister and Ahmad's too little to learn from his brattiness, we get an exploration of Bengali culture and temporal consequences. The character changes are subtler, where Farah has to rally her friends and develop nerves of steel. Aunt Zorah can only watch from the outside, while the adults trapped within the game hope they can finally leave their artificial home. Sometimes we just need a grand high adventure, that teaches us more about our world.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a thrilling, fast-paced read with a dynamic and diverse heroine leading the way!