“If you had told me when I was a child that I could not only publish books one day, but also include characters who resemble me, I would have smiled and nodded but not believed you. I want kids of all backgrounds today to know it is possible for them, and that their voices and their stories matter just as much as anyone else’s.”
Hena Khan is an author of picture books and middle grade fiction. Her middle grade novel Amina’s Voice launched Simon & Schuster’s Salaam Reads imprint and was named a Best Book of 2017 by the Washington Post, NPR, Kirkus Reviews, and others. She wrote the popular Zayd Saleem Chasing the Dream series, and the forthcoming More to the Story, a novel inspired by her all-time favorite book, Little Women. Hena’s award winning picture books include Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, Under My Hijab, Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets, Night of the Moon, and It’s Ramadan, Curious George.
Hena spent a huge part of her childhood at the Rockville Public Library in Maryland, but didn’t see her life as a Pakistani American Muslim reflected on the pages of a book until she was in her thirties. It didn’t occur to her then that someone like her deserved to be a character in a story.
After getting her MA in International Affairs, Hena worked for several non-profit health research organizations. She helped to disseminate research findings and communicate technical concepts to different audiences around the world.
When she became a mother, Hena started writing for children with Scholastic book clubs, publishing books for a number of series including Spy University, Space University, and How to Survive Anything. She also wrote several choose-your-own format books, including the Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure Mars and Amazon. She still enjoys writing about a variety of exciting themes that are informed by research.
Today, Hena also writes about her culture, community, friendship and family, and draws heavily from own experiences. She is happy to spend all of her time writing, presenting to children, educators, and others, and being a mom to two teen boys. When she gets the chance, she travels with her family, bakes, and reads books written by her favorite children’s authors. She lives in her hometown of Rockville MD, with her family.
Follow Hena on Twitter
If you’re interested in having Hena visit your school or attend your event, or if you have a general question about Hena, please fill out the following form: