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 the 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.
★ "An empowering and important tale of bravery." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ "Digital patterened art and vibrant backdrops....depict the tale’s ample emotions in this sincerely wrought celebration of family and faith." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"For anyone who has ever felt a little worried about sharing a beloved family or cultural ritual, this title will be welcome and even cherished; it will also inform some readers about Islam and explain a bit more about the practice of prayer." —School Library Journal
"Readers familiar with finding pride in their religious customs even as they are ostracized will both relate to Muhammad’s troubles and cheer for him when he musters the courage to ask for a place to pray at school." —The Bulletin