Q&A: Being Friends with the Opposite Gender

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Dear Readers: The following question was submitted by Jami Sinclair, who is writing a book with a Muslim character and would like input from the Muslim community on whether her portrayals of Islam are accurate. Besides her questions, which I will be posting as they come up, Jami is also seeking sensitivity readers for her manuscript. Please help out if you can.


In my middle grade spy adventure (for 9-12 year olds) the main character’s best friend Jasmine is a Muslim American girl. Her best friend is a non-Muslim boy, age twelve.

This might be a stupid question, but is it acceptable for her to play with boys at age twelve? She could be age eleven, if that helps.

Unfortunately, if it is not acceptable, my character cannot be Muslim since she and the main character often work together to fight the villain. I hope since they are pre-pubescent, this will work.

I’d really love to have a Muslim girl be one of the heroes fighting the villain who wants to eradicate Muslims from America.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts on this.

More Questions from Jami

Want to be a sensitivity reader for Jami? Read this post.

Muslim-authored novels:


  1. Was heartened to see the 12-year-old hijabi MC in Karuna Riazi’s THE GAUNTLET (Salaam Reads, imprint of Simon & Schuster) snuck away from a party up to her bedroom with her best friends (one boy, one girl). In another scene, she grabs the friend’s (boy’s) hand to run away from danger. And while the MC utters a few prayers of gratitude, she never formally prays. While the adventure is pretty non-stop, I spotted a few places where she could have taken the time to pray…

    I know the Muslim community is very diverse, and this book showed me there might be some leeway for a spunky Muslim girl in an adventure story. I, however, have opted to be a bit more conservative. Seemed wise, since I am not a part of the culture.

    I’m curious what others thought about THE GAUNTLET. Anyone read it?

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