Read On!

Mrs. Farquharson’s musings about books for children and young adults


The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S. K. Ali, illustrated by Hatem Aly (Little Brown)

The first day of wearing hijab is important, Mama had said.
It means being strong.

Some people won’t understand your hijab, Mama had said.
But if you understand who you are, one day they will too.

Mama: Don’t carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not yours to keep.
They belong only to those who said them.

In the 2016 Summer Olympics, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States. As a member of the United States fencing team, she earned a bronze medal in the Team Sabre.

Ibtihaj collaborated with S. K. Ali to write The Proudest Blue. In their authors’ notes, the two women describe what an important occasion it was for them to wear their new hijab on the first day of school. Muhammad discusses the meaning of it for her, both physically and spiritually. She also writes of the bullying that she sometimes faced, especially in middle school. This talented athlete wrote her story to help young girls find their own strength and celebrate being a Muslim.

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