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.
- Time to pray by Maha Addasi
- Lailah’s lunchbox by Reem Faruqi
- Golden domes and silver lanterns by Hena Khan
- Night of the moon by Hena Khan
- King for a day by Rukhsana Khan
- Silly chicken by Rukhsana Khan
- Sitti’s secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye
Picture books found under non-fiction (about holidays or religion)
- Going to Mecca by Na'ima bint Robert (J 297.352 R)
- Best Eid ever by Asma Mobin-Uddin (J 297.36 M)
- White nights of Ramadan by Maha Addasi (J 297.362 A)
- Under the Ramadan moon by Sylvia Whitman (J 297.362 W)
- Muhammad by Demi (J 297.63 M)
- Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter (J BIO BAKER)
Slightly longer books
- Muslim child : understanding Islam through stories and poems by Rukhsana Khan (J 297.083 K)
- Ayat Jamilah = Beautiful signs : a treasury of Islamic wisdom by Sarah Conover (J 297.18 C)
- 1001 Inventions & awesome facts from Muslim civilization by National Geographic (J 297.265 O)
- Grand Mosque of Paris : a story of how Muslims rescued Jews during the Holocaust by Karen Ruelle (J 940.5318 R)
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.
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