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The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family
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The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  3,389 ratings  ·  604 reviews
A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school–and two sisters on one’s first day of hijab–by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad.

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
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.58  · 
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“The first day of wearing hijab is important, Mama had said. It means being strong.”

And that just about sums up the book and the experience of every Muslim woman who decides to wear hijab and continue wearing it and not let any other factor get in the way of her choice.

It’s stupid that such a simple thing continues to cause such an uproar. But I like that this story viewed the hijab as something magical. Ethereal. And that strength of character, individuality and faith was at the forefront
Dave Schaafsma
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
My family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books every year. This is book #18 (of 20) of 2019, and we liked it. It was written By Olympic medalist, social activist (and hijab-wearing!) athlete Ibtihaj Muhammed with the help of (writer) She. K. Ali, illustrated by Hetem Aly. Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Hank (13): 3. I like the art.

Harry (14): 3. Wait, what's with all the counting (steps, and so on) and numbers in this book?! This book is really abo
Stephanie Anze
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
It is the first day of school and Faizah is excited. Most of all, she is excited because it is the first day of school in which her sister Asiya is going to wear her blue hijab. Faizah thinks her sister looks like a most beautiful princess and does not understand why others at school do not see it in the same way. As she deals with the bullies, Faizah learns to truly appreciate the beauty of the hijab.

Another great children's book with a most important message. Faizah admires her older sister As
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hijabi appreciation

Really sweet and beautiful book with an equally important message!

And while I am not someone who has been Othered/bullied for being brown, I am so thankful to see media like this where diversity is celebrated. It also shows that breaking stereotypes is so vital. The author herself is a legend!

Content warning: bullying/racism
Jillian Heise
This book is GORGEOUS! Empowering and celebratory of Muslim girls who are hijabis, and their families. The type of book that will help kids feel seen, and help other kids become more understanding. This is an important book that should be on all the shelves.
Deacon Tom F
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Wonderful Story.

“Proudest Blue” is a truly a wonderful book by Ibtihaj Muhammad. It is up to date in both explaining the hijab and showing the cultural tension from other races.

In our nation, we are encountering women in hijabs. Books like this are truly needed so the majority can be exposed to the wonderful culture of this family.

This is not a Childrens Story but a story for all ages.

I fully recommend!
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A beautiful book! It’s a true window & mirrors book; readers will see themselves and others will learn about the Muslim faith.
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Little sister Faizah watches her big sister, Asiya, pick out a hijab for the first day of middle school -- the first day Asiya will begin wearing hijab every day. Pink, like their mother wants? No; Asiya wants blue, so her hijab meets the sky. Then the first day of school comes, and Faizah watches with pride as Asiya handles it with grace, despite some taunting.
This book was utterly charming! The illustrations are beautiful, with great expression and colors. Faizah's admiration for and belie
Shireen Hakim
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
"If you understand who you are, one day they will too."
I almost cried tears of blue like Faizah's Hijab. This story of a younger sister Asiya worried about her older sister being bullied for wearing Hijab to school for the first time is so sweet I wanted the book to continue forever. Read it.
Oct 29, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2020, picture-books
I loooooove this. It's what we are ACTUALLY asking for when we say we want more diverse books--not books about pain or Big Racial Issues, just your typical, adorable picturebook about being the younger sister and looking up to your big sister, and as it just so happens, you're jealous of her because of her hijab, because wearing a hijab is totally fucking normal and fine and doesn't need to be pathologized. I love the art so much and this got me squarely in the little sister feels. ...more
Jon Nakapalau
A young girl (Faizah) goes to school with her older sister (Asiya) on her first day of wearing a hijab. Seen through the eyes of Faizah we see the challenges Asiya has to face and how she is able to stand up for who she is.
Cindy Dobrez
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, faith
What a wonderful story about rites of passage, the bonds of sisters, overcoming classmate cruelty and taunts, and the importance of faith to a young girl. Little sisters look up to older sisters usually and for Faizah watching her sister buy her first hijab and wear it to school on the first day is a special moment. Aly's illustrations are beautiful as they bring to life the ocean/sky blue color that Asiya selects for her hijab. The anonymous way in which the bullies are portrayed is powerful as ...more
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Gorgeous illustrations accompany an empowering story. I loved the supportive and loving relationship of the sisters and the encouraging words from their strong mother. "Some people won't understand your hijab, Mama had said. But if you understand who you are, one day they will too." ...more
There are so many things I loved about this book. Authored by a former Olympic medalist, the stunning illustrations, especially the faceless bullies, and the message.
Rod Brown
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Goodreads Choice Awards Project: Read as many of the Best Picture Book nominees as possible. 4 to go!

Again, nice sentiments and art, like fellow nominee Sulwe that I just read, but I really feel odd about any religion that tells people how to dress in their daily life (and I'm looking at you Mormon underwear, Amish hats, Roman Catholic school uniforms, Jewish yarmulkes, etc.), especially considering that in the Garden of Eden story clothing seems to be a human construct whereas God apparently wo
Mary Lee
A beautiful #ownvoice story about a girl who wears hijab to school for the first time and her adoring little sister. There are bullies, but the girls' faith keeps them strong. ...more
This is a story about faith, strength, and sisterhood. Faizah is so ready to fight for her sister! I adore them both so much.
This was a sweet, hopeful book. I wish there had been more exploration of why it was important for the characters to wear hijab, other than it made them feel close to their culture and family. But I suppose that's more of an adult complaint. I don't know. I might have wanted to know if I read this as a kid. I didn't realize before reading this that the author was an Olympic medalist, so that's pretty neat. The pictures are gorgeous.

Read Harder Challenge 2020: Read a picture book with a human mai

This was a beautifully illustrated picture book about sisterhood and a girl's first day of wearing her hijab.
"Asiya's hijab isn't a tablecloth.
Asiya's hijab is blue.

Only blue.

While really enjoyed the illustrations and liked the intent of the story and the empowering message that it sends, I felt like the book lacked substance. Perhaps it's because I'm not the target audience and that this book is targetted towards little girls who are preparing to wear a hijab full-time - but nowhere
This book was so beautiful! I sobbed while reading it. I loved the relationship between the sisters. Faziah was so proud of her older sister on her first day of wearing hijab, referring to Asiya as a princess. The other students whispered about Asiya and teased her for wearing a hijab. Faziah was upset by the students' words, but remembered some of her mother's sage wisdom. "Don't carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not yours to keep. They only belong to those who ...more
A book about two Muslim sisters who celebrate pride in their faith by wearing hijab, and also about the cruel remarks bullies can make, and how personal, emotional strength can overcome those remarks. As Asiya and Faizah's mother says, "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." This valuable story will encourage young readers to try to understand and celebrate differences and to take strength in faith, t ...more
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Such a gorgeous cover and illustrations, with an amazing story to go along with it!
Calliope van Poe
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a lovely read!
Bethlyn Allmey
A beautiful book that tells the story of two sisters and the challenges that they face, when wearing a hijab for the first time at school. It captures the importance of being proud of your religion and confident in your own skin. There is an important message within this book to share with children and I can’t wait to use this book in my classroom.
Ibtihaj Muhammad, co-author of this wonderful story, shares at the back of the book a tale from her childhood in which, when wearing her hijab at school for the first time, was asked by some spiteful onlookers why she had a ‘tablecloth’ on her head. And even though she had been counselled, warned and guided by her family, she still struggled to deal with the needless bullying that came from her wearing a scarf around her head as a sign of her faith. In The Proudest Blue then we find a story that ...more
Christine Heron
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book - gorgeous illustrations, thoughtful story. My favorite page - “Don’t carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not yours to keep.” If I could assign books to humanity, this would be required reading.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A moving story of standing up for yourself and your beliefs told in an accessible and engaging fashion. Faizah's big sister Asiya is wearing hijab to school for the first time, and despite being bullied by some classmates, she is brave, confident, and proud, a role model for her younger sister, her friends, and for those who read this book. Ideal for a kindergarten or slightly older audience.

Themes: School, Islam, Colors, Siblings
Melissa Anderson
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cannot wait to read this story ro my niece. It is absolutely beautiful. The illustrations are stunning, but the story is so wonderful. A story of two sisters. For Faizah, it's her first day of school and for her sister Asiya, it her first day of hijab. To Faizah the hijab is the ocean and her sister a princess. I really loved this story and the author's note at the end. Beautiful. ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story both for youngsters who need to see themselves and their culture in picture books and to use to introduce the tradition of wearing the hijab.

Sweet and celebratory with absolutely gorgeous illustrations by Hatem Aly.
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Love love LOVE this book! The illustrations are adorable and just such a beautiful and wholesome message!!!

My fave hijab colour is pink and I will defo wear it proudly!!!

10/10 would recommend

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2019 Roe Reading ...: The Proudest Blue 1 2 Jan 27, 2021 07:36AM  
2019 Roe Reading ...: The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad 2 4 Dec 29, 2020 07:19AM  
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Ibtihaj Muhammad is a fencer and the first Muslim American woman in hijab to compete for the United States in the Olympic Games. She is also the first female Muslim American to medal at the Olympic Games, winning bronze in the women’s saber team event. An activist, speaker, and entrepreneur, Ibtihaj has written a memoir, Proud, and inspired the first hijabi Barbie in her likeness.

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