84 pages 2 hours read

Hena Khan

Amina's Voice

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2017

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Chapters 1-3

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

The scene opens with Soojin and Amina having a side conversation during their sixth-grade class. Soojin prods Amina to sign up for a solo as a part of the class’s talent show, as she has a beautiful singing voice. Soojin and Amina have weekly, spirited arguments about who the best contestant on the television show The Voice is. Soojin tells Amina that she’s better than most contestants, but Amina has terrible stage fright. Her stage fright derives from her experience playing John Hancock in the 2nd grade. When it was time to deliver her line, she froze up and became speechless, humiliating herself in front of the whole school. Soojin encourages her to put this experience behind her.

Soojin tells Amina that she’ll be changing her name after her family becomes US citizens this year. Soojin is considering the names Heidi, Jessica, and Melanie. Amina is troubled by this information. She and Soojin have historically been among the only students in the school whose names stand out. Having teachers stumble over their names has indeed been a part of their bond. She tells Soojin that she does not look like any of the names being mentioned, but that she looks just like herself—Soojin.