M.O. Yuksel loves writing stories about diverse historical figures, and fascinating cultures. She is the author of IN MY MOSQUE, a School Library Journal 2021 Best Picture Book, the 2021 Best of the Best Books of Chicago Public Library, and a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection. IN MY MOSQUE received starred reviews from the School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and was highly praised by The Horn Book, Booklist, and Kirkus. Her upcoming picture book biography, ONE WISH, about Fatima al-Fihri, a 9th-century woman who pioneered the oldest university in the world in Fez, Morocco releases with HarperCollins on February 22, 2022. She is also the programming committee member for the Highlights Foundation Muslim Storytellers Fellowship.
Before becoming a full-time writer, M.O. Yuksel worked in the education field for over twenty years as an administrator, manager, and teacher. Of Uzbek descent, she was born in Turkey and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of seven. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Fordham University, and a master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.
When not writing, M.O. Yuksel is usually on the soccer field cheering for her kids, or traveling to exotic places and immersing herself in the local culture. She loves nature, bike riding, and indulging in shameless amounts of chocolate. She teaches yoga and meditation when she's not bouncing off the walls from the chocolate induced sugar high. Once in a while, she'll venture to teach her friends how to pronounce her real name - Munevver (Mar-vel-ous). But her friends never make it past the Mar and prefer to use her nickname - Mindy.
She is currently working on a middle-grade novel and several new picture books, and she can't wait to share them with you soon!
Need M.O. Yuksel's author photo for an article or blog post? Click here or here to download a high-res version. (Photo credit: Peggy Doyle)
You can download the cover of IN MY MOSQUE here, and the cover of ONE WISH here.
Follow M.O. Yuksel on these platforms for giveaways, and updates on her books: