Under My Hijab

By Kirkus Reviews

A window into the world of a Muslim-American girl and the diverse women in her family and community. A young, unnamed female narrator observes the women in her lives in public situations where they wear hijab and other situations where they do not, clearly showing when Muslim women who wear hijab transition into situations and places where they do not wear hijab. Khan connects in words the personality of each woman in and out of hijab. When Grandma is at work baking, "her hijab is carefully folded, / like the crusts on my favorite pies," while "at home in her kitchen, / Grandma fixes her hair in a bun." When she's in her shared studio, an aunt's hijab "towers up high, / pinned with a handmade jewel," but at home the narrator can appreciate how her hair "is streaked pink and purple." Jaleel's illustrations pair well with Khan's text, depicting some of the various ways hijab is styled. Though specific ethnicities are not mentioned, the family is multiracial, with the grandmother and father appearing black, a light-skinned mother and other female relatives, and friends with various skin tones. Women are also varied in ages and body shape. An endnote provides further information about hijab, what the word means, when women choose to wear it, why they choose to wear it, and that some women, like the author of the book, choose not to wear it. Informative and genuine, the book offers much to learn about the settings and situations of hijab.