"Amira & Hamza" Book Club: Day 2

By: OwlCrate Jr Photo By: @a.o.tales
“… I’m certain Suleiman the Wise meant for you to get this chest down yourselves,” says Abdul Rahman.  
“Yes,” I say. “With science. Brain muscle, not muscle muscle.”


It's day two of our book club read-along of Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds by Samira Ahmed, featured in out October 2021 'Science Is Magic' theme!

Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER FILLED discussion for Chapters 6-8 of Amira & Hamza. Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate Jr box per post! 

This month's book club is written by Cheryl of And Other Tales. Take it away, Cheryl!

The story so far...

Chapter Six:

The golden throne deposits our chosen ones in a lush green valley in the Himalayas. It is here, in the village of Kalap, that they will find the Arena of Suleiman—a mysterious domed building within which Suleiman left gifts for Amira and Hamza three millennia ago! Inside, they find a very large treasure chest floating … in mid-air … three stories high! How will they get it down?? Apparently, Suleiman created this challenge that only the chosen ones could solve. Even worse? The jinn cannot help at all! 

 When Hamza’s attempt to climb the wall fails in a near-death experience, everyone is at a loss. Until Amira notices her paper clip necklace acting strangely … moving towards the walls of its own accord. As she nears the wall, the necklace yanks right out of her hand and sticks to the wall! Thanks to a class field trip in grade four, our science-loving hero knows this building isn’t made of just any rock, but magnetic Lodestone rock! Which means … it can be demagnetized!

Wile E Coyote Cartoon GIF


Chapter Seven: 

Amira explains that the chest is likely being held up by magnetism and to free it of these bonds they simply need to demagnetize the surrounding rock, which can be achieved by heating it up…a lot. How awesome is science? Luckily, we are amidst a room full of fire jinn! As Amira and Hamza hide under Abdul Rahman’s cloak (which cannot be penetrated by flame) the jinn get busy heating up the walls of the structure by turning into their true fire forms. It works like a charm! Soon the chest comes crashing to the ground, and thanks to the lightning-fast thinking of the Supahi—who throw out their swords and form a makeshift, rectangular pallet for the chest to land upon—it lands safely.

Dungeons And Dragons Dnd GIF by Arlin Ortiz

 Inside the children discover a beautifully bejewelled, ivory handled celestial steel dagger that can cut through anything; a leather quiver filled with emerald-tipped arrows; a black bow made of the same Lodestone as the walls; and a silken kamarband, used to tie the weapons to their waists … but why is there only one? Before everyone is about to leave, Hamza notices an envelope inside the chest: a letter from Suleiman himself informing the chosen ones that more challenges await and that “what you seek is seeking you.” There is more, but of course these squabbling siblings can’t let the other finish the letter and through a series of mishaps and slip-ups, end up tearing the letter in half - which promptly turns to ash, and sets off a series of violent earth tremors. There’s no time to dwell, however, as a quick look at the Box of the Moon shows the moon is getting closer to Earth! 

Off our heroes race to the golden throne, destination: The Obsidian Wall! (Which turns out to be neither solid nor liquid but just the greatest big wall of oobleck ever! Slime lovers rejoice!) Unfortunately the door, the very portal to Qaf itself, isn’t where it should be. Even worse, another huge chunk of the moon has just broken away, setting off an avalanche on the mountain above them! 

Kermit The Frog Reaction GIF 

Chapter Eight:

With a mountain of rock sliding down above their heads, and the Obsidian wall not allowing the group to pass into Qaf, Amira makes a quick decision - she grabs Suleiman’s dagger and plunges it into the oobleck wall while everyone simultaneously pushes with all their force. Annnnnd out they pop onto soft emerald-green grass, in a beautiful garden, all covered in black gunk. But hey, they’re alive! 

As Amira catches her breath, Hamza explores around and meets a seemingly kind older man who encourages him to help himself to some delicious, gleaming pomegranates off a nearby tree. As Hamza reaches for the fruit, the old man transforms into an orange-skinned, pointy-toothed monster … a spy for Ifrit, who now knows the siblings are in Qaf! After parlaying an ominous message the spy disappears and Maqbool warns the kids to be on their guard as things in Qaf are not always what they seem…

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Putting the scary encounter behind them, it is time for Amira and Hamza to meet Shahpal bin Shahrukh, Emperor of Qaf. They enter a lovely stone courtyard where jinn of every color and beautiful woodland peris greet them with mixed hesitation. Everyone seems uncertain that these children could be their saviours  - especially the Emperor’s daughter, Aasman, the First Peri of Qaf. As the court erupts in cries of panic and outrage, the Emperor calls on Dastongoi - a small, wizened old peri storyteller to tell the court the story of Suleiman’s Mortal Prophecy which warned that a rebel dev would seek to avenge his father, tear apart the moon, and would ultimately fall at the hands of a son of Adam and Eve. 

To help in their quest, the children are allowed to pick one of four swords of Suleiman: Sam Sam, Qam Qam, the Scorpion, or the Spine-Cleaver. Hoping for some all-knowing guidance, but finding none, Amira randomly selects one sword … the Scorpion. Turns out she just happened to pick the most favoured of all of Suleiman’s swords! Yay for lucky guesses! 

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With that, the siblings spend a quiet evening practicing their weapons: Hamza with the Supahi and his dagger, Amira with Maqbool and her bow and arrow. Maqbool informs Amira that when their quest is over they will return to Earth right before they left … time will be the jinn’s gift to them. 


  1. In chapter six we learn all about Lodestone - Rocks & Gems are fascinating! I loved my Geology classes in University and learned about so many interesting rocks - my favourites being Gneiss (pronounced nice) and Diorite (because it reminded me of cookies and cream ice cream). Do you have a favourite rock or gem? 
  2. Did you know about the mythological beings of Jinn before this book? If so, how does Samira Ahmed’s interpretation compare with your own? Are they similar or dissimilar? 
  3. Which magical weapon would’ve been your choice? 
  4. The prophecy continues to mention only ONE chosen saviour, yet both the siblings bear the moles on their right temples (the mark of sacred duty) … how do you think this will resolve?