Thursday, January 20, 2022

Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui - ADVISABLE

Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui, 288 pages. Scholastic Press, 2021. $18 

Content: G. 



12yo Nimra has been attending a private Islamic School and has finished their Hifz program where she memorized the Qur'an. Now her parents feel it's time for Nimra to attend public school. Her best friend Jenna also goes to Farmwell, but when they are at school, their friendship seems different - Jenna didn't welcome Nimra into her friends group and she doesn't like that Nimra wears her hijab. When Matthew, Bilal and Waleed, 8th grade boys who overhear her praying in the band room, invite her to sing in their Muslim band Barakah Beats, she agrees, hoping this will impress Jenna and her friends - which it certainly does. But, Nimra knows her religious parents wouldn't want her to perform, so she doesn't tell them. 

Nimra really transitioned well from private to public school despite the friendship drama - which was spot on for that age group - who likes who, and making your friends talk to a boy for you etc. Siddiqui does a great job of keeping the reader culturally involved without weighing down the plot to do so. The author's note is great - I hope my readers don't stop at the end of the story, but keep reading through to the end. 

Lisa Librarian    

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