Book Review: THE PROUDEST BLUE

Written by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S. K. Ali | Illustrated by Hatem Aly

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in the technical aspects of this book. The experts are the book creators. The following comments are my opinions.

Have you ever given power to hateful words when you shouldn’t have? #RaiseYourHand

🙋🏾‍♀️ I still have work to do to be where I need to be. But, I’m so thankful for my growth!

THE PROUDEST BLUE: A STORY OF HIJAB AND FAMILY by Ibtihaj Muhammad, S. K. Ali, and Hatem Aly, empowers readers to recognize and believe their worth during hurtful encounters with others. 

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–made of a fabric of beautiful blue, 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.”

I particularly loved how Asiya, the sister who wore hijab, gracefully embodied the unwavering strength and resilience of Mama’s teachings from beginning to end.

Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad faced bullying from classmates because of how she showed her faith. She told this uplifting story to inspire readers who look like her to celebrate the very things that may appear “different” to others. 

I’m thankful for the team that created this book and many other teams that equip parents and educators with tools to remind our children of their worth so that they won’t give power to hurtful words.

#PictureBooksAreForAdultsToo

Technical Notes

Theme: Finding inner strength with family support 

Point of View: 1st person

Tense: Present tense

External Journey: To look like her beautiful sister wearing hijab

Internal Journey: To be strong liker her sister wearing hijab

Character Arc: Insecure to secure. The MC is not the one wearing hijab—her sister is. Yet, the MC is the one who experiences the character arc.

Story Arc: “Man in whole” – the story starts and ends happy, with the conflict in the middle. 

Story Structure: Classic plot

Story Start | End: For both, similes (ocean and sky) are used to describe hijab in a scene. At the end, the same comparison (ocean and sky) could be used to describe the strong relationship between the sisters. 

Pacing: At the climax, the text explaining hijab is short and firm, unlike previous descriptions. 

Dialogue: Sparse dialogue. Mostly used to present emotional conflict and positive response.

Illustration: The rule of 3 is used with the beautiful spreads to give a positive description of what hijab is an what it is not. 

Published by gpbellbooks

Picture Book Author

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