WordsWorth recently sat down with Adam Mohsen-Breen, an MFS senior and author of three books that have received wide recognition and earned him a Princeton Prize. Mohsen-Breen’s books concern post 9/11 bullying of Muslim youth, especially in the context of schools, and preach a positive message of religious tolerance.
WordsWorth: How many books did you write?
Adam Mohsen-Breen: I wrote three books [Grandfather’s Promise, Laila and Gabe, and Tarek’s Lesson], each centered on a particular aspect of classroom bullying situations that I wanted to focus on.
WW: What inspired you to write your books?
AMB: I was inspired to write my books because bullying of Muslim youth is a problem that affects my religious community, as well as my family community.
WW: What was the biggest challenge when writing each book and did they have any common problems?
AMB: The biggest challenge for each book was definitely creating a believable and unique protagonist for each book that could be likable enough to drive the action of my books, while at the same time strong enough to deal with the problems they encounter in the classroom.
WW: Rumor has it your books are being recognized all around the world. How does that feel? Did you think that they would get lots of attention?
AMB: I am incredibly grateful to everyone that’s helped me so far along the process, and I would never have received this type of attention without the support of all my advisors and overseers. When I saw the first articles start to come out, I was obviously extremely excited, especially because the articles for the most part were very faithful to the intended message of my books. I never expected my books to receive any kind of recognition outside of our own, school community, but the Princeton Prize really served as a catalyst for the increased media attention, which was really exciting for me.