North Wembley mum chosen to represent World Book Day 2021

Zanib Mian

Zanib Mian is releasing Planet Omar: Kindness for World Book Day - Credit: Zanib Mian

A North Wembley author said she had to "pinch" herself after being chosen as one of the writers representing World Book Day 2021.

Zanib Mian, of Paxford Road, will be reading a book she wrote specifically for World Book Day,  Planet Omar: Operation Kind, in a Zoom call on March 3.

Children can get the book for free or buy it for £1.

"When I was first told I was chosen, I thought somebody needs to pinch me. It's an incredible honour as only a handful of authors are chosen every year so for me to be selected, I'm very honoured. I hope Planet Omar brings joy for reading through my writing."

World Book Day on March 4 aims to change lives through a love of books and shared reading, promotes reading for pleasure and offers every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.

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Zanib quit her job as a science teacher to write part-time after spotting a lack of diversity.

The 41-year-old, who has two sons aged 19 and 13, decided to start her own company in 2009, Sweet Apple Publishing, with a vision to work “with all kinds of people” and publish Islamic books - “a niche market”.

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She self-published her first book in 2009 while still teaching full-time.

In 2016, her book Oddsockosaurus was read on CBeebies Bedtime Stories. Then in 2018, her book The Muslims won The Little Rebels Award.

The Muslims was picked up by Hachette, a major publisher, who signed her up for a three-book deal and renamed the series Planet Omar.

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet hit the shelves in April 2019 and Planet Omar: Epic Hero Flop, her fourth in the series, is to be released in July this year.

"The pandemic hasn't affected my writing in that I've had writer's block but it was strange for me as I would always write in a cafe. I'd do all of my writing in a cafe but I couldn't so I found I was writing at home or in my car, but it has been ok." 

Planet Omar: Operation Kind, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik, is a 2021 £1 World Book Day title.

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