Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer. What books do you have for and about Muslim children?

Q&A: Patrons Ask; Librarians Answer. What books do you have that will help our Muslim classmates feel welcome, and give the rest of the class some idea of what it means to be Muslim? I teach reading in elementary school, so a range of reading levels would be best.

Q: I’m looking for books to help our Muslim students feel welcome, and give the rest of the class some ideas of what it means for their classmates to be Muslim. Where do you keep books about Muslims for kids? I need books for kindergarten through third grade.

A: I made a short list of books that were recommended online by Muslim parents and teachers. Some of these stand alone as interesting stories with as much explanation as any non-Muslim reader would need to get a feeling for an aspect of the culture or practices in the Muslim community, and some of them are for Muslim children, so they don't explain every single thing. In those cases, they could work as a starting point for a dialogue. 

I hope these books increase our understanding of friends' traditions and celebrations. Trading and sharing information gives us an opportunity to become familiar with the small and large aspects of each others' lives so we can find ways to connect with one another.

Picture books

Picture books found under non-fiction (about holidays or religion)

Slightly longer books

Most of these ideas came from these 3 great sources of reading suggestions:  Isra Hashmi, Shirin Sinnar, Rukhsana Khan, with much-appreciated help from my colleague Arewa. There are other wonderful books in the library by, for, or about Muslims, these are simply a place to start.

We'd like to hear your favorites! Leave us a comment below.

As always, Oakland Public Library Children's Librarians are standing by to answer your questions. Submit a question by clicking on the button.

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