Hayek wrote Huda and Me for all Australian kids but particularly for those like her: who eat falafels for lunch, whose parents have Middle Eastern accents. Published in March, it’s a rollicking adventure story about two siblings who steal a credit card and head to Beirut to track down their parents.Source: smh.com.au
When she submitted the manuscript she half expected to be asked to “cut some of that Muslim stuff” and lose the Arabic words, she says.
“I’m super lucky it landed on the right desk. [The publisher] said write this book for the Muslim child, the Lebanese child.”
Growing up in country Victoria, Julianne Negri didn’t see much of her reality in the books she read either. She wishes there’d been something like Huda and Me for her as a young reader – seeing a big family on the pages of a book was rare.