First year in public school!
Big building, confusing schedule,
best friend ignoring her?
After memorizing the entire Qu’ran, 12-year-old Nimra finally moves from private Islamic school to the same Virginia public middle school that her BFF Jenna attends – is she really ready?
She’s excited about the chance to take art class (if she can convince her conservative Pakistani-American parents), but not happy that Jenna pays so much more attention to other friends.
Her quiet noon prayer is interrupted by some eighth grade guys in the band room – a Muslim boy band?! The whole school is obsessed with Barakah Beats, and they’re inviting her, a new seventh grader, to join?
Beliefs about music vary throughout Islam, but for Nimra’s family, playing instruments or singing isn’t acceptable. Maybe the band will accept the new logo she drew instead of being mad that the young hijabi can’t sing with them…
Her new friend Khadijiah’s big brother is in Barakah Beats. She says they really, really want Nimra in the band to sing and to write new lyrics.
If Nimra practicing with the band makes her cool to Jenna’s friends, but she never performs in public, that would be okay, right?
Oh, of course Barakah Beats is performing at the fundraiser for refugees! And the entire Muslim community will be there, including her parents!
How can Nimra dare sing in public?
Why can’t her parents view music like other Muslims do?
Why can’t Mom and her grandparents agree on the right way to do anything?
Nimra’s heart is in turmoil about keeping her new Muslim friends while defying her family to regain Jenna’s friendship.
What long-held dream are you willing to go for?
Book info: Barakah Beats / Maleeha Siddiqui. Scholastic Press, 2021. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.