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. She now shares her unforgettable tale of perseverance and faith. Raised in a working-class community in New Jersey with five siblings, Ibtihaj sought out sports as a means to fund college — and fencing was one of the only sports in which she could participate fully clothed.
She was fast, hardworking, and devoted to her faith. But in a sport most popular with privileged young white people, Ibtihaj often felt out of place. Rivals and teammates (as well as coaches and officials) pointed out her differences, insisting she would never succeed.
Yet Ibtihaj powered on, rising above bigotry and other struggles on the path to her dream. Her inspiring journey from a young outsider to a national hero is a relatable, memorable, and uniquely American tale of hard work, determination, and self-reliance. This edition, publishing simultaneously with Ibtihaj’s adult memoir with Hachette Books, will feature exclusive stories and photos for young readers.