Salat in Secret

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By Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow,  Illustrated by Hatem Aly, Random House Studio, Hardcover, 44 pages

From the critically acclaimed author of Your Name Is a Song and the bestselling illustrator of The Proudest Blue comes a story about a Muslim boy who receives a salat (prayer) rug on his seventh birthday and becomes empowered about his faith.

 In this beautiful story of community, family, and acceptance, a boy named Muhammad receives a special salat rug on his seventh birthday. Seven is the age when Muslim children are encouraged to pray, and Muhammad is determined to do all five daily prayers on time. But one salat occurs during the school day--and he's worried about being seen praying at school. His father parks his truck to worship in public places, and people stare at and mock him. Will the same thing happen to Muhammad?

 In the end, with help from his teacher, he finds the perfect place to pray. Salat in Secret, by two highly acclaimed Muslim creators, is a poignant and empowering look at an important facet of Islam that many observant children cherish but might be scared to share.

About tthe Author

Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow MSEd, is a former English teacher who has educated children and teens for fifteen years. As an inaugural AMAL fellow with the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), she developed foundational curricular frameworks for youth and adult anti-racist programming. Her picture books and short stories, which feature young Black and Muslim protagonists, have been recognized as the best in children's literature by Time magazine, Read Across America, and NPR. These works include Mommy's Khimar, Once Upon an Eid (anthology contributor), and Your Name Is a Song, as well as soon-to-be-released books: Abdul's Story and Hold Them Close.

Hatem Aly is an Egyptian-born artist who has illustrated many books for young people. They include The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S. K. Ali, a New York Times bestseller; In My Mosque by M. O. Yuksel, which received four starred reviews; the Newbery Honor-winning The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz; and the Yasmin series by Saadia Faruqi.