What is Lantern reads?
Lantern Reads is a platform that focuses on South Asian and Muslim children’s literature. Following up from previous curating initiatives, Lantern Reads will dive deeper to provide perspective and context through reviews and discussions with diverse voices writing in the growing field of South Asian and Muslim children’s literature. Sadaf Siddique is principal writer and reviewer at Lantern Reads.
Lanterns remain a recognizable pan South Asian icon which relates to the reality of many people’s lives. Many of these young people and the communities they belong to still do not see themselves represented in the pages of a book. Often their stories are told by voices other than their own. In an attempt to look at issues of diversity, inclusion and representation, Lantern Reads seeks to use age-old symbol of a lantern as a beacon of hope to look at both the stories that illuminate and outline those that still remain the shadows.
Sadaf Siddique is the co-author of Muslims in Story: Expanding Multicultural Understanding through Children’s and Young Adult Literature (ALA publishing, USA), an educational consultant and book reviewer.
Her work in print, documentaries and online media projects in India and the US have focused on innovative ideas for social change. She co-founded Kitaabworld, an online platform for South Asian children’s literature where she pioneered the Counter Islamophobia Through Stories campaign. She presented the campaign at national and international educator conferences (Asian Festival of Children’s Content, NCTE, ALA, Teachers 4 Social Justice) and led diversity panels at literature festivals (Bay Area Book Festival, SALA).
Sadaf works on writing culturally-responsive curriculum, conducts webinars, teacher training workshops and diverse story times geared towards parents and educators. Her writing has appeared in Learning for Justice (Teaching Tolerance), The Horn Book, Embrace Race and Lantern Reads. She is currently exploring the world of writing picture books and hopes her stories can add a fun and whimsical way to learn about our multicultural world. Her picture books include My Street and Hakeem’s Hiccups (Pratham Books, India).