Muslim Girls Rise

Muslim Girls Rise: Inspirational Champions of Our Time By Saira Mir, Illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel (2019) – hardcover

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Muslim Girls Rise is a fantastic compilation of inspirational biographies. This format has become a recent trend in children’s picture books. But I appreciate the angle taken by author Saira Mir in choosing contemporary names. Quite often children’s curriculum is full of deceased historical figures. I get it, they provide historical context. But how wonderful would it be if, alongside these deceased figures, children could then learn about modern day leaders? I think this would provide such an engaging and aspirational learning experience. If they learned more often about contemporary leaders, they’d get a greater sense that their goals really are attainable.  

Mir highlights nineteen such names, and all of them happen to identify as Muslim women. Their stories cover such a wide array of interests and careers, from a chef to a blogger to a comedian. Readers from all walks of life are sure to connect with at least one of these figures. 

Although the author, a Muslim physician who advocate’s for women’s health, wrote this book for her daughter, she also hopes that these stories resonate with anyone who is eager to learn about extraordinary women. 

Illustrator Aaliya Jaleel has created such dynamic and vibrant illustrations. Every spread is so unique. From a scene in a NASA flight control room to a snapshot of a women’s rights protest, Jaleel has wonderfully captured the individual passions of these women. 

Take-away message: The common thread throughout these biographies is that these women followed their passions, through thick and thin. Some literally risked their lives or fled their homes to seek freedom. In the end, they all came out on top and accomplished their dreams and goals.

Reading Level: Lexile 860L | Fountas & Pinnell R

TAGS: Notable POC, Muslim, female lead, female empowerment, hardcover 

Check out this fantastic curriculum guide provided by Simon & Schuster!

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