Twelve-year-old Nimra Sharif has spent her whole life in Islamic school, but now it's time to go to "real school." Nimra's nervous, but as long as she has Jenna, her best friend who already goes to the public school, she figures she can take on just about anything. Unfortunately, middle school is hard, and Jenna starts giving hijab-wearing Nimra the cold shoulder around the other kids.
Desperate to fit in and get back in Jenna's good graces, Nimra accepts an unlikely invitation to join the school's popular 8th grade boy band, Barakah Beats. But Nimra was taught that music isn't allowed in Islam, and her parents would be disappointed if they found out. She plans to join the band, win Jenna back, then quietly drop out before her parents find out.
Her plan goes awry when Nimra discovers really likes hanging out with the band — they value her contributions and respect how important her faith is to her. Then Barakah Beats signs up for a talent show to benefit refugees. With the show only a few weeks away and Jenna's friendship hanging in the balance, Nimra has to decide whether to betray her bandmates — or herself. For fans of The First Rule of Punk comes a sweet, powerful, and joyous novel about a Muslim girl who finds her voice on her own terms.