GUEST WRITER ANGELA LARDNER RECOMMENDS THE PROUDEST BLUE BY IBTIHAJ MUHAMMAD
The first day of school is always special: it is the start of a new year, new backpack, and new shoes. But this year is extra special as Faizah’s older sister, Asiya, gets to wear her hijab-made of beautiful blue fabric, just like the ocean. The first day of wearing a hijab is important. It means being strong. It is a thing of beauty.
But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful. Asiya faces hurtful comments at school about her hijab. However, Asiya remembers the words her mother told her, “Don’t carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not yours to keep. They belong only to those who said them.” This is how Asiya keeps strong, is able to keep her head high, ignore the bullies and carry on with her day.
Faizah overhears those comments and cannot understand how someone cannot see the beauty of the ocean-blue hijab and what it stands for. She cannot wait for the day when she, too, will wear a blue hijab, just like her sister.
This book is a story of family, love and faith. It shares the lesson that the parts of ourselves that might make us appear “different” are worth celebrating.
Angela Lardner, after teaching high school English for 13 years, is currently teaching Grade 4 at Stanley Consolidated School. When not teaching, she can be found reading, working on puzzles, or spending time with her two dogs, Apollo and Thor.