Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui is such a fun middle grade read about Nimra, a Muslim girl in public school for the first time. While she struggles with maintaining a friendship with Jenna, her childhood best friend, she meets some new friends in the form of a boy band.

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The summary, from Amazon:

A story about finding your voice and fitting in. 

12-year-old Nimra Sharif has spent her whole life in Islamic school, but is about to embark on middlel school and is feeling nervous.

Nimra is desperate to fit in but finds the popular kids avoid her because of her hijab, and her best-friend Jenna isn’t the same at school. So when she is invited to join the school’s popular band, Nimra is unsure what to do. She has been taught that music isn’t allowed in Islam, but it is an opportunity to make new friends and win back the graces of her best-friend Jenna.

What will Nimra do?

  • A junior Jenny Hann.
  • Perfect for fans of Netflix’s Julie and the Phantoms

Buy Barakah Beats here.

Nimra and Jenna have always been friends. Nimra previously attended an Islamic school, but is starting public school this year. When Nimra wears her hijab to school, Jenna becomes uncomfortable and their friendship is strained. But when Nimra befriends Barakah Beats, a boy band whose members are also Muslim, Jenna and her friends start to view Nimra as cool. The only problem is that the boys want Nimra to join their band, but her family’s interpretation of the Quran means they don’t perform music. Nimra decides to join the band just long enough to make Jenna like her again, but things get tricky when they join a talent show.
This was just such a fun read! It really threw me back to middle school and had me feeling all the same emotions I did as a 12-year-old. I do get a little annoyed with the consistent theme in middle grade novels where the protagonist’s lie by omission goes a little too far, but the author did it pretty well. This was a solid 5 star read for me.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

Barakah BeatsBarakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such a fun read and brought me back to middle school.

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Book Club Questions

  1. Why does Jenna start acting differently around Nimra?
  2. Was Jenna really ever a best friend to Nimra?
  3. Is it ever okay to lie by omission?

Interested? Buy Barakah Beats.
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