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Children's Fiction Self-esteem & Self-reliance

The Unlovable Alina Butt

by (author) Ambreen Butt-Hussain

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
May 2023
Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Diversity & Multicultural, Humorous Stories, General
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

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Where to buy it


Fitting in at a new school is hard enough, but when you’re an awkward, big-nosed, nerdy Pakistani girl with a funny last name, it can seem impossible.

Eleven-year-old Alina Butt has changed schools four times already since her family moved to England from Pakistan. Even after all that practice, she doesn’t seem to be getting any better at being the new kid. Mocked for her last name and her "weird" lunches, Alina has had enough! Taking a leap of faith to try and stand out for the "right" reasons, Alina auditions for the school play. Her hopes of landing the lead role in Cinderella are dashed when her new friend gets the part of Cinderella instead...and her bully is cast as Prince Charming!

Alina must rely on her stubborn will and wacky sense of humor to survive the endlessly embarrassing and ridiculous situations she finds herself in and discover her own unique way to shine!

About the author

Ambreen Butt-Hussain was born in Pakistan but lived in England and Scotland before finally settling in Canada. She has a bachelor of science from the University of Toronto and a master of education from Queen’s University. She currently teaches elementary school and lives in Milton, Ontario.

Ambreen Butt-Hussain's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“An endearing, spunky protagonist whose personality is realistically developed.”


“In this charming, tightly plotted debut, Alina’s witty, vulnerable narratorial voice guides readers through her intensely authentic personal evolution.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Introduces important issues to young readers…Readers will come away with an understanding that we are really not that different from one another after all. Recommended.”

School Library Connection