Read for: Audio Books/ Borrowed Books
Synopsis: "The inspiring all-American story of faith, family, hard work, and perseverance by Olympic fencer, activist, and Time"100 Most Influential People" honoree Ibtihaj Muhammad
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Ibtihaj Muhammad smashed barriers as the first American to compete wearing hijab, and made history as the first Muslim-American woman to medal. But it wasn't an easy road--in a sport most popular among wealthy white people, Ibtihaj often felt out of place. Ibtihaj was fast, hardworking, and devoted to her faith, but rivals and teammates (as well as coaches and officials) pointed out her differences, insisting she would never succeed. Yet Ibtihaj powered on. Her inspiring journey from a young outsider to an Olympic hero is a relatable, memorable, and uniquely American tale of hard work, determination, and self-reliance."
My Review: I picked this audio book up from the library on a whim to find strong females in books for young girls. I wasn't sure what to expect with this one as I don't usually read memoirs or non-fiction but this book blew me away. Ibtihaj and her story are such an inspiration! The narrator did a fantastic job with inflection to show the full range of emotions Ibtihaj experiences throughout her journey from disappointment, stress, joy, love, excitement, anger and frustration. I loved how she told us not only the triumphs but also the times when she lost her way, it is clear that all of her accomplishments are due to her determination, hard work and a great family support system. I not only learned a lot about fencing but also about the Muslim faith. This was such an informative and inspirational book, I am so glad I picked it up!
My Rating: I will certainly be paying more attention to fencing in the Olympics, in fact Ibtihaj's journey is so inspiring that I am now looking into fencing as a possible sport for Munchkin (while I am entirely aware of the fact that he is the norm for fencing) in hopes that it will help encourage his confidence, problem solving and hand eye coordination. I highly recommend this book and give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!