In this middle grade graphic novel, Nisrin decides to reclaim the symbol that made her the target of a hate crime. This story is based upon the author’s own experiences as a Bangladeshi-American dealing with hate and racism while growing up after 9/11. Nisrin is a 13-year-old Bangladeshi-American girl living in Milwaukie, Oregon in 2002. On her way home from school, she is the victim of a hate crime when a man violently attacks her for wearing a headscarf. Deeply traumatized by the experience Nisrin spends the summer depressed and isolated. Other than weekly therapy, Nisrin doesn’t leave the house until fall arrives and it’s time for her to start freshman year at a new school. The night before class starts, Nisrin makes a decision. She tells her family she’s going to start wearing hijab, much to their dismay. This choice puts Nisrin on a path to not only discover more about Islam, but also her family’s complicated relationship with the religion, and the reasons they left Bangladesh in the first place. Piece by Piece is an original graphic novel about growing up and choosing your own path, even if it leads you to a different place than you expected.
Meet the Author
Priya Huq is a Bangladeshi-American cartoonist from Austin, Texas who enjoys working in water-based media. Her stories deal with complex emotions in both real and fantastic locations. Huq has contributed to the Nib and other online publications. She lives in New York City.