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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers will learn about 19 Muslim women who are trailblazers in various fields, including writers, athletes, scholars, politicians, activists, filmmakers from various countries (England, Iran, Kuwait, Somalia, and Pakistan, the United States).
Follow your passions. Hard work pays off. Inspire others; be a leader. Don't let others' opinions of you, or actions against you, deter you from your dreams. Rise above.
Positive Role Models
All the girls and women profiled are great role models for all kids, though fact that they are all Muslim may be especially important to young Muslim readers. Girls and women of a range of different skin colors from many different countries are represented.
Violence & Scariness
Reference to war in Syria, refugee camps. Story of Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai refers to her attack and "violent attempt to end her life" but doesn't go into any other detail.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Muslim Girls Rise: Inspirational Champions of Our Time, written by Saira Mir and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel, is a book about 19 modern Muslim women who are pioneers and change-makers. Each two-page spread features one person with a quote, a brief biography, and an illustration depicting the girl or woman immersed in her passion or work. Parents will recognize some names and stories, such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and U.S. Senator Ilhan Omar. Others will be new, like Maria Toorpakai Wazir, from Pakistan, who lived her childhood as a boy and became a top squash player. The detailed biographical sketches span just half a page, making them appropriate for younger readers and interesting for readers of all ages. There are positive messages about pursuing passions and not letting the haters get you down. A range of Muslim women are represented: They are from diverse occupations and pursuits, some wear hijab and some don't, they reflect a variety of skin tones, and they are from many countries (England, Iran, Kuwait, Somalia, Pakistan, and the United States).
Is It Any Good?
This heartfelt, lushly illustrated homage to an often misunderstood group of girls and women is sure to inspire and entertain both young readers and their adult caregivers. Muslim Girls Rise encourages readers to figure out their passions, ignore anyone who says they can't achieve because of who they are, and pursue their dreams with determination. The art is beautiful, with clean, uncluttered illustrations in soft, warm hues. The book is equally great as a read-aloud or as independent reading for older kids, and it shows all readers the many different paths and pursuits open to them.
The introductory page soberly acknowledges, "People may tell you that you can't do something because of the way you look, dress, or pray," but this collection shows readers that children with dreams can and should pursue their passions, and like the 19 women in this book, they can rise.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Books with Stories of Extraordinary Women
Books with Strong Female Characters
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate