Here to Stay is a YA inspirational realistic fiction book that tackles bullying, racism, homophobia, and Islamophobia. When Bijan Majidi scores the winning basket in a varsity basketball game, his world is turned upside down. There are those who cheer for him, but jealousy and ignorance of his middle-east heritage leads to a bully emailing all the students in his school a picture of him photoshoped as a terrorist. However, Bijan refuses to let it break him or stop him from playing his favorite sport.
Basketball is personally my favorite sport to play, and I loved how accurate the descriptions of the games were and I felt like I was playing right there with him. Bijan is extremely brave. He never let the bullies win or bring down his confidence. He was not afraid to stand his ground and prove himself equal. I love how Here to Stay proves that even when it seems like the world is against you, there will always be people by your side who will continue to stand up for what's right.
Racism and Islamophobia are real issues and very present at this time in America and all over the world. Here to Stay clearly illustrates how ignorance leads to fear. Especially in sports, jealousy is a powerful force that often results in hatred. This book combats the hatred with kindness and relentless determination. It's extremely diverse set of characters in races, religion, and sexual orientation adds to the inspirational tone.
I highly recommend this book!
Title: Here to Stay
Author: Sara Farizan
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Rating: 5 Stars