Summary : With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.
Authors : Ibtihaj Muhammad & S.K.Ali
Illustrator : Hatem Aly
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Review and thoughts : The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family is a lyrical account of a kind-hearted black Muslim character called Faizah about her older sister’s hijab on the first day of school. Her older sister’s name is Asiya.
Faizah and Asiya are the actual names of Ibtihaj’s sisters. I briefly met the author during eid prayer while visiting my family a couple years ago in New Jersey.
Asiya, her real sister, was actually very friendly to me. Therefore, I like the protagonist in the book because she is based on a real character, alhamdullilah. That day, my son was wearing a blue outfit from head to toes, too. Masha’Allah. After I read it, he picked up the book and mock-read it himself. On the inside flap of the back cover, he spotted his first name in the last names of one of the authors. That puzzled him, and he wondered how his name got on a book. He asked me if I put it there, and I told him, “No.” Hehe. Alhamdullilah.
To continue, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family shows the unbreakable spirit of a young girl in the face of bullying. She quickly remembers the strong and powerful words of her mom to help her carry on, head high:
Don’t carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not yours to keep. They belong to those who said them.
Easily said than done perhaps, but they carry a lot of truth. Some days, it will be easier to overlook the abuse, and other days, it won’t be so easy for sure because of the whispers. But, we must remain steadfast and do us and hope that one day they see the truth. If they don’t see it, oh well, that’s not our problem. It’s theirs.
Furthermore, Hatem Aly’s illustrations are consistent with his previous works I have had the chance to review or read. Plus, I love blue. It’s a color of order, authority and self-respect. Masha’Allah.
Above all, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family is an empowering read to add to the bookshelf of the Mumeenas you’re raising in your respective homes. It could also help with cultural sensitivity awareness tailored to non-Muslims so that they may not fear the hijab. Or at least, so they may respect other people’s differences.
Rating : 4/5
Thank you for reading,
~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~