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Zoe Akhtar

12 Years

Ekya School, JP Nagar


Barakah Beats! Book Review by Zoe,12,Bangalore

Love coming- of- age stories? 12 year- old Zoe from Bangalore writes about ‘Barakah Beats’, a novel about a Muslim girl who is trying to juggle school and friendships together.

book review barakah beats kids bookosmia

Author- Maleeha Siddiqui | Publisher- Scholastic

Barakah Beats!

When I picked up ‘Barakah Beats’, I thought that this is just going to be another boring book for Muslim kids that Mumma got me from the book fair to make me into ‘the golden child’! Ugh, I’d read it once and it would just sit on my bookshelf forever.

Oh my God, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Fate decided, on a mega boring Saturday, I would pick this up and it would now live in my favourite book list. You might be wondering about this, Zoe! Didn’t you say you hated it?! Wait! Just listen and you’ll understand what happened to me.

This book tells us about the life of a not-so-normal 12-year-old, Nimra Siddiqui. She loves art and has been homeschooled for her entire life. She’s also a trained Hifz. For the lot of you wondering “Heh? What’s a Hifz?!” This is a Muslim who has successfully memorised the entire Holy Quran and mind you, this ain’t a tiny feat. Anyway, before the start of grade 7, her parents tell her that she will be joining the local school, Farmwell High. She is on cloud nine, as she and her best friend Jenna have always dreamt of being in the same school.

But wait! Not everything is a bed of roses. On her first day of school, Jenna ignores her and seems embarrassed of her. During the lunch break, when Nimra goes to read her Zuhr prayer after lunch, she chooses a spot near the band room. As she starts her prayer, she hears music on the other side. This irks her big time! She begins praying at the top of her voice to concentrate. After she is done, she meets the people behind the music, Barakah Beats. Also known as, the most famous eighth graders in the entire school; Bilal, Mathew and my personal favourite, Waleed. They are awestruck by her voice and invite her to join the band. Reluctantly, she only joins to win Jenna back and plans to later leave the band.

Unfortunately, she has way too much fun with the band, but here’s the main conflict- Islam is against music. Nooooo!!! Barakah Beats is all about what Nimra does to cope with what’s going on.

I loved this book! Maleeha Siddiqui’s writing style from Nimra’s point of view is what makes this book touch your heart. All of the characters are normal kids like us going through normal things. The book makes you feel for each and every character in this book. The best part is, each chapter ends with a cliffhanger which compels you to keep reading.

Friends, music, betrayal, crushes, school and the fifth circle of hell. This is a must-read for everyone!

I would recommend this for kids 11+ and definitely rate this a 5/5.

I’d like to know your opinion on what Nimra should do.

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