Kindergarten - Grade 2 - Picture Books
Ali and the Magic Stew, by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim. 2002.
An original tale based on traditions from Iran, this story shows spoiled Ali learning to appreciate the plight of the poor beggar when his father suddenly becomes ill.
The Hungry Coat: A Tale from Turkey, by Demi. 2004.
In this funny folktale from Turkey, the well-loved trickster and wise man Nasrettin teaches his friends a lesson in the importance of looking beyond appearance.
Nadia’s Hands, by Karen English. 1999.
Nadia, a Pakistani-American girl has her hands decorated in beautiful designs for her aunt’s wedding. She is concerned about her classmate's reactions until she understands the richness of her own culture.
Sitti’s Secrets, by Naomi Shihab Nye. 1994.
Mona learns to love the sights, sounds and tastes of her grandmother’s life when she visits her home on the West Bank. Even though Mona and her wise and loving grandmother live on opposite sides of the world, they have a bond that can never be broken.
The Stars In My Geddoh’s Sky, by Claire Sidhom Matze. 1999.
Alex comes to love his visiting grandfather who shares details about Arabic culture and comforts him when it’s time for them to part.
Three Princes: A Tale from the Middle East, by Eric Kimmel. 1994.
Three princes vie for the hand of the lovely princess with the help of a crystal ball, a flying carpet and a healing orange in this humorous and mysterious tale from the Middle East.
Grades 3 - 5
Behold the Trees, by Sue Alexander. 2001.
This history of Israel is told through the story of its trees. As the land is fought over, conquered and exploited, its trees disappear. New inhabitants make the land bloom again.
The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis. 2000.
Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan impose strict limitations on women's freedom and behavior, eleven-year-old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father's arrest.
The Dog of Knots, by Kathy Walden Kaplan. 2004.
When Mayim’s mother takes a job in northern Israel, Mayim must leave her best friend and her beloved grandfather. In her new home, she quickly makes friends with others, including a mysterious stray dog that lives down in the wadi.
The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella, by Rebecca Hickox. 1998.
This Iraqi version of the Cinderella story is the story of Maha, who releases a small red fish back to the water. The fish becomes her source of help whenever she is in difficulty.
I am the Mummy Heb-Nefert, by Eve Bunting. 1997.
A female mummy remembers when she danced for the Pharaoh’s brother and other details of her life in ancient Egypt.
The Man with Bad Manners, by Idries Shah. 2003.
In Afghanistan, a young boy decides to reform an ill-mannered neighbor and finds himself a new skill for resolving conflicts.
The Never-Ending Greenness, by Neil Waldman. 1997.
An old man remembers his love of greenery by planting trees in Israel when his family flees the shady streets of Vilna.
The Old Woman and the Eagle, by Idries Shah. 2003.
An old woman encounters an eagle for the first time and insists that it must be a pigeon, as she has never seen an eagle.
Parvana’s Journey, by Deborah Ellis. 2002.
Sequel to The Breadwinner, Parvana's Journey follows the eponymous 12-year-old girl who, disguised as a boy, sets off from Kabul in search of her missing mother and siblings in Taliban-era Afghanistan.
Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam, by Diane Stanley. 2002.
Saladin’s rise to power, his struggle to unite Muslims of Syria and Egypt, and his passion to liberate Jerusalem are all subjects in this biography of an Islamic hero.
Sami and the Time of Troubles, by Florence Parry Heide. 1992.
When there is a lull in the fighting in his war-torn Beirut, Sami enjoys a day at the beach or plays with his friends.
Samir and Yonatan, by Daniella Carmi. 2000.
Samir, a Palestinian boy, is sent to Israel for an operation where he makes friends with an Israeli boy named Yonatan.
Shadow Spinner, by Susan Fletcher. 1998.
In ancient Persia, the Sultan’s wife, Scheherazade, has told the sultan stories for nine hundred and eighty nights. Now she desperately needs new stories or the sultan will kill her. Luckily, a crippled servant girl named Marjan is able to go into the city to find them.
A Stone in my Hand, by Cathryn Clinton. 2002.
Eleven–year-old Malaak and her family are touched by the violence in Gaza between Jews and Palestinians when her father disappears and her brother is drawn into the Islamic Jihad.
Grades 6 - 8
The Beduins’ Gazelle, by Frances Temple. 1996.
In a story set six hundred years in the past, two cousins betrothed and then separated, try to find one another in the Sahara Desert.
The Enemy Has a Face, by Gloria Miklowitz. 2003.
When Netta’s seventeen-year-old brother disappears, she is convinced Palestinian terrorists have abducted him.
Iqbal, by Francesco D’Adamo. 2003.
Fatimah is a young Pakistani girl who is inspired by the courageous young activist, Iqbal, as she tries to escape bondage in the carpet factory.
Kiss the Dust, by Elizabeth Laird. 1992.
Tara and her family must flee from Iraq to Iran when her father’s connection to the Kurdish resistance becomes known to the police.
Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures, by Malba Tahan, Patricia Reid Baquero. 1993.
Every story in this unique book for adults is built around a classic mathematical puzzle.
Mosque, by David Macaulay. 2003.
The history and culture of 16th century Istanbul shine through in the visual story of the construction of a mosque.
19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, by Naomi Shihab Nye. 2002.
In these four dozen poems, Nye writes of figs and father’s blessings, Palestinians and war, and grandmothers’ hands that “recognize grapes.”
One More River, by Lynne Reid Banks. 1973.
Resentful at being forced to leave Canada, Lesley's adjustment to life in the Israeli kibbutz is not easy.
A 16th Century Mosque (Inside Story series), by Fiona MacDonald, Mark Bergin. 1994.
Islam’s history is illustrated in this descriptive and detailed book on the beautiful houses of worship.
The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East, by Naomi Shihab Nye. 1998.
More than 100 poets from 19 Middle East countries share words of hope, sorrow and joy.
Grades 9 - 12
Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America, by Firoozeh Dumas. 2003.
In humorous and touching vignettes about school and language barriers and more, Dumas describes an Iranian family’s experience in America in the 1970’s.
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi. 2003.
In black and white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life as a girl during the Islamic Revolution.