Muslim Girls Rise: Inspirational Champions of Our Time

by Saira Mir (Author) Aaliya Jaleel (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

Little Leaders meets Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls in this gorgeous nonfiction picture book that introduces readers to nineteen powerhouse Muslim women who rose up and made their voices heard.

Long ago, Muslim women rode into battle to defend their dreams. They opened doors to the world's oldest library. They ruled, started movements, and spread knowledge.

Today, Muslim women continue to make history.

Once upon a time, they were children with dreams, just like you.

Discover the true stories of nineteen unstoppable Muslim women of the twenty-first century who have risen above challenges, doubts, and sometimes outright hostility to blaze trails in a wide range of fields. Whether it was the culinary arts, fashion, sports, government, science, entertainment, education, or activism, these women never took "no" for an answer or allowed themselves to be silenced. Instead, they worked to rise above and not only achieve their dreams, but become influential leaders.

Through short, information-rich biographies and vibrant illustrations, Muslim Girls Rise introduces young readers to the diverse and important contributions Muslim women have made, and role models they may never have heard of before, but whose stories they will never forget.

Publishers Weekly

This galvanizing compendium highlights an eclectic array of notable 21st-century Muslim women, among them author Ilyasah Shabazz, activist Linda Sarsour, and comedian Negin Farsad. Geared toward Muslim girls--"People may tell you that you can't do something because of the way you look, dress, or pray"--the stories of 19 change makers each receive a dedicated spread. Jaleel's crisp, colorful, digitally rendered illustrations show each woman in her element--teaching, signing books--alongside text explaining her achievements and an inspirational quote. Told in broad, accessible strokes, ending lines ("Amanda believes food can be a path to peace"; "Hibah literally reaches for the stars") connect the figures' work with its high-level impact. Ages 6-up. (Oct.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 1-5--Beginning with the definition of the word rise, this collective biography seeks to inspire young people (especially Muslim girls) to rise to their own challenges. Each two-page spread features one or two notable Muslim women, an inspirational quote by them, and a brief overview of how their early passions and determination to succeed made them who they are today. The book also includes small icons symbolizing each woman's achievements and a tableau of the featured woman in her element. From Olympic athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad and student-activist Malala Yousafzai to designer and visual artist Hana Tajima and mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, the subjects vary greatly in background and accomplishments. These simple, brief overviews paired with crisp, colorful illustrations are ideal for a wide range of ages and applications. VERDICT This title easily earns itself shelf space next to similar female-forward, picture book biographies such as Chelsea Clinton's She Persisted and She Persisted Around the World.--Brittany Drehobl, Morton Grove Public Library, IL

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Saira Mir
A debut #OwnVoices writer, Saira Mir is a Muslim physician from Washington, DC, who has searched far and wide for books to help her daughter find feminist role models who share her heritage. Saira wrote Muslim Girls Rise for her, and hopes to share it with other children eager to learn more about these extraordinary, path-breaking women.

Aaliya Jaleel is a freelance illustrator, character designer, and visual development artist. She is currently majoring in animation at the University of Texas at Dallas with plans to work as a visual development artist after graduation.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
October 20, 2019
Age Range
6 - 10 years

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