Photo Credit: Dr. Allison Muhammad
In my interview with Dr. Allison Muhammad, she shared with me the story behind her children's books, The Crossover: The Trio and The Banished One and The Crossover: Alinoorah and the 7th PAVILION
Nadine Muhammad: Please, would you tell our readers about yourself?
Dr. Allison Muhammad: I am a dreamer and I am sensitive. I love to read. I have always been interested in world cultures and history, which propelled me to my degrees in archaeology. I collect miniatures, write short stories, and I watch old Hong Kong Kung Fu movies for fun. I send the most time-consuming, boring pet ever- a Black Moor goldfish.
I have served our community in various capacities as a teacher and a mentor. I earned my Ph.D. In anthropology- archeology. I am a bio-archaeologist with a specialty in diet reconstruction using stable isotopes.
I love to read and I love our children.
Nadine Muhammad: What is your motivation for writing your books?
Dr. Allison Muhammad: I wanted to answer a yearning that I discovered that I shared with my children- a desire to see myself in the books that I read. My daughters stunned me in a public library one day. I suggested a read to them and they very publicly and harshly rejected the book.
My oldest daughter, Bahirah, led the rebellion, with sarcasm of course. “Let me guess, you like the cover?”
I nodded. “It’s a pretty Black girl on it,” I said, in self-defense.
My two stair-steps, Laila and Nadia, joined in, “But she is gonna’ lose Mumzy! Lose it all!” “It won award didn’t it?” I was pointing at the seal on the cover.
“You like the synopsis on the back. It’s on the New York Times Bestsellers’ list,” Bahirah said “Well, it is!” I sighed, “What do you want? When I was your age, there was no Black girl on the cover!” They went on to tell me these books are tricks. The Black loses everything. She never gets the prince, she loses her magic. All the tragic things happen to her or she fades to the back of her own story. They began recounting countless titles and plots that had upset them.
They settled on some Manga comics at checkout. I decided then. I would beat this trend and win their hearts.
Nadine Muhammad: Would you tell us what your books are about?
Dr. Allison Muhammad: The Crossover is a series about AliNoorah and her cousin Halima. They are cousins that soon discover they have a magical inheritance. A haughty stranger coaxes them to ‘cross’ into another realm. The pair soon find out the depth of their identity and the responsibilities that go with such. At the same time, they make new friends. These installments follow them on their adventures.
Nadine Muhammad: What are the benefits that readers will obtain from reading your books, and how will their lives be transformed?
Dr. Allison Muhammad: I am sure readers will see themselves in one of the numerous characters. They will enjoy the humorous moments as well as the cultural allusions that make this read educational. I wrote with our ethos in mind as well as with the poetics that touch our hearts. These are books that a parent and a youngster can read alongside one another and laugh and holler just the same. When you run across Stevie Wonder and Nat King Cole, just smile.
Please, build your children's home library with Dr. Allison's books, The Trio and The Banished One and The Crossover: Alinoorah and the 7th PAVILION