Huda and Me : CBCA's Shortlist Younger Readers 2022 - H. Hayek

Huda and Me

CBCA's Shortlist Younger Readers 2022

By: H. Hayek

Paperback | 15 June 2022

At a Glance

Paperback


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A cheeky, fun and fast-moving tale of two Lebanese-Australian kids who decide to escape their horrible babysitter by running away…to the other side of the world.

Huda's sitting in the airport lounge, fiddling with our tickets. I can tell she's excited because she has a little smile on her face and she keeps glancing at her pink digital watch. I can't believe we're doing this. I can't believe we're running away from home. Well, we're not really running away. We'll come back. We're running to our parents. On the other side of the world.

When their parents have to travel to Beirut unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Akeal and his six siblings are horrified to be left behind in Melbourne with the dreaded Aunt Amel as their babysitter. Things do not go well, and Akeal's naughty little sister, Huda, hatches a bold plan to escape.

After stealing Aunt Amel's credit card to buy plane tickets to Lebanon, Huda persuades her reluctant favourite brother to come with her. So begins Huda and Akeal's hair-raising and action-packed journey to reunite with their parents half a world away, in a city they've grown up dreaming about but have never seen.

A fresh and funny story of sibling love, adventure and courage, Huda and Me is one of a kind.

About the Author

H. Hayek is the second-youngest of seven children, born to Lebanese-Australian parents. She was born in Adelaide, grew up in Perth and now lives in Melbourne. She struggled with reading and writing through her earliest years at school, but knew from the time she was a little girl that she wanted to work with words. After completing a degree in Mass Communication (Journalism & Public Relations) she went on to graduate with a degree in Teaching. She has worked as a primary school teacher in Melbourne's west and as a journalist. But above all, writing stories involving unique kids, with unique backgrounds, has been her passion. H. Hayek enjoys exploring themes of identity - what it means to be Australian, Muslim, and Lebanese. She also enjoys being a little bit mischievous.
Industry Reviews
'A charming, delightful and original story that kept me smiling the whole way through. Hayek has created a cast of unique and memorable characters - from the precocious, funny, daring Huda, to the big-hearted, patient Akeal, to the intriguing Aunt Amel. What I love most about this story is its mischief, its spirit of adventure and its irresistible invitation to young readers to embrace a story that is familiar at times, and wonderfully fresh and new at others.' RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH

'Big adventure, big laughs and big heart. Huda and Me is exactly what #OzMG needs more of. One minute you're laughing out loud and the next you're wiping away a cheeky tear. Hayek delivers everything contemporary middle grade could hope for. Cheeky, hilarious, heartfelt and with an authenticity only #OwnVoices authors can offer, Huda and Me will have you on the edge of your aeroplane seat!' NAT AMOORE

'Sparkling with mischief, adventure and family love, Huda and Me is a gem of a story. Hayek writes with warmth, humour and a keen understanding of children's capacity for loyalty and courage. A brilliant new talent in Australian children's literature.' KIRSTY MURRAY

'Huda and Me is a fresh and tender tale that will leave an imprint on your heart. This book will make you chuckle, gasp and may leave you teary-eyed. I'm sure readers will relate to Akeal's hilarious and loving family, led by the loud and proud Huda. I absolutely adore this book and can't wait for this fresh voice to be unleashed in the kid lit scene!' OLIVER PHOMMAVANH

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