Barakah Beats

Publisher: Scholastic

Nimra has always gone to an Islamic school where following her faith has been easy, but then her parents decide to move her to the local public school (the story is set in the USA).

When she gets there, she’s hoping to hang out with her best friend Jenna, but Jenna isn’t so keen. Then four boys in a band – the coolest boys in school - invite her to join as their singer. Nimra thinks it’s a great way to become popular, but there’s a problem: her parents think that music is un-Islamic.

The ultimate message of this faith-centred story is that it is OK to practice Islam in different ways. It is refreshing to find a book written by an author who understands the complexity of relationships between three generations from a Muslim immigrant heritage. However, teachers and other adults who are considering sharing this book with children outside their family should keep in mind that that there is enormous diversity in how Islam is interpreted and practiced. Far from all Muslims think music is wrong, and introducing the idea that it might be should be done with extreme sensitivity.

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