A Great Outdoors For Everyone : Short Wave Fatima's Great Outdoors, a new children's book, centers on a girl named Fatima, who's struggling to adjust to her new life in the U.S. But on her very first camping trip with her family,
Fatima unexpectedly discovers courage and joy in the outdoors. Today on the show, Emily talks to Ambreen Tariq about her new book and her social media initiative, BrownPeopleCamping. For Tariq, both efforts are a part of a common vision — to increase diversity in the outdoors and challenge definitions of what it means to belong in nature.

This conversation is part of NPR's collaboration with the Library of Congress National Book Festival.

You can email us at shortwave@npr.org.

A Great Outdoors For Everyone

A Great Outdoors For Everyone

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Fatima's Great Outdoors, written by Ambreen Tariq and illustrated by Stevie Lewis Kokila / Penguin Young Readers hide caption

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Kokila / Penguin Young Readers

Fatima's Great Outdoors, written by Ambreen Tariq and illustrated by Stevie Lewis

Kokila / Penguin Young Readers

Fatima's Great Outdoors Kokila / Penguin Young Readers hide caption

toggle caption
Kokila / Penguin Young Readers

Fatima's Great Outdoors

Kokila / Penguin Young Readers

Author Ambreen Tariq Paulina Dao/Kokila / Penguin Young Readers hide caption

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Paulina Dao/Kokila / Penguin Young Readers

Author Ambreen Tariq

Paulina Dao/Kokila / Penguin Young Readers

Ambreen Tariq immigrated to Minnesota from India with her family when she was just 8 years old, and the move was far from easy. Her parents were working long days and Ambreen was bullied at school.

When spring rolled around and everyone in Minnesota went outdoors, the Tariq family decided to do the same, jumping into their next big adventure. They saved money for a tent, packed up their Indian food and tackled the challenges of camping together. It was in the outdoors that they found joy in the midst of an enormous transition.

Today, Ambreen is the founder of BrownPeopleCamping, a social media initiative that works to increase diversity in the outdoors and challenge definitions of what it means to belong in nature. More recently, Ambreen authored a children's book called Fatima's Great Outdoors, which mirrors some of her own experiences camping for the first time with her family.

We talk to author and activist Ambreen Tariq about Fatima's Great Outdoors, BrownPeopleCamping, and her vision of an outdoors for everyone.

This conversation with Ambreen Tariq is part of NPR's collaboration with the Library of Congress National Book Festival.

Our team would love to hear your episode ideas. Email us at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was edited by Viet Le, produced by Indi Khera, and fact-checked by Berly McCoy.