Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad along with S.K. Ali write about an experience from both of their childhoods. This story is about a young girl whose older sister is going to be wearing the hijab for the first time in public (her school). The mother takes Asiya to a hijab shop to choose a color that most reflects her. Her younger sister, Faizah, accompanies her. The color of the hijab that Asiya chooses is a brilliant blue that reflects the sky and the sea. Asiya is bullied in school about her hijab but she fights back with confidence that only a child who is loved and appreciated by her family can. She becomes a role model for her younger sibling and other younger girls, to follow when time comes for them to choose to wear the hijab.
The significance of this book is that its written and illustrated by Muslims. Muslim children as well as others need to see strong Muslim role models outside of family and this book does just that. It is an experience that many Muslim girls can relate to. The concept of choice, which is the right of every Muslim girl, is predominantly articulated within this strong and powerful narrative.
Ibtihaj Muhammad is a fencer and the first Muslim American woman in hijab to compete for the United States in the Olympic Games and win a medal at the Olympic Games (bronze in the women’s saber team event). She is an activist, speaker and entrepreneur who has written a memoir, Proud, and has inspired the creation of first hijab wearing Barbie. You can visit her online. S. K. Ali is the award–winning author of Saints and Misfits and Love from A to Z and the coeditor of an upcoming Eid anthology. As Faizah and Asiya in the book, Ali and her sister visited hijab shops every year in preparation for the first day of school to choose their color of choice. Hatem Aly is an Egyptian–born illustrator whose work has been featured on television and in multiple publications worldwide. Among other books, he illustrated Newbery Honor winning novel The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz.
Author: Ibtihaj Muhammad
Illustrator: Hatem Aly
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
PubDate: September 10, 2019
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