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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 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.
Paired with Hatem Aly's beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.
About the Author
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. She invites you to visit her online at ibtihajmuhammad.com.
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. Like Faizah and Asiya, she and her sister visited hijab shops every year before the first day of school to choose their proudest colors.
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. He currently lives in New Brunswick, Canada, with his wife, son, and more pets than people.
Praise for The Proudest Blue:
"Inspiring... The lovely, playful illustrations by Aly capture the spirit of imagination and sisterly solidarity in the face of bullying."—New York Times Book Review
* "Memorable and inspiring... Triumphant and true."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "A lovely blend of emotional lyricism and closely observed everyday life."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Aly's ink-wash-and-pencil illustrations settle and soar along with the language.... This story, as both window and mirror, inevitably educates, but more important, it encourages pride in and respect for hijab through a tale of two sisters, their bond strengthened by faith."
—Booklist, starred review
* "This excellent story about identity, visibility, and confidence, touches on rites of passage, bonds between sisters, and bullying and is unapologetic in tackling misconceptions and demanding equality."
—School Library Journal, starred review
"Hatem Aly's ink-wash and watercolour illustrations perfectly complement the lyricism of Muhammed and Ali's moving text."
—The Globe and Mail