April is Arab-American Heritage Month
In 2021, the U.S. State Department officially recognized and designated April as Arab-American Heritage Month. Browse our collection to learn more about the culture, history and contributions of the Arab world. We’ve included some kid, teen and adult recommendations below to get you started!
- Albucasis: Renowned Muslim Surgeon of the Tenth Century by Fred Ramen – Learn about Albucasis, the Muslim surgeon whose impressive contributions to medicine include an encyclopedic surgical text, the invention of the forceps and the pioneering use of sutures.
- Arab Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook by Alrawi Karim - This literary cookbook includes fourteen original stories that fold into kid-friendly recipes.
- Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai – Twelve-year-old Nadia is separated from her family for four days while attempting to flee the civil war and meet her father at the Turkish border.
- Farah Hijjar Series by Susan Muaddi Darraj – In the Farah Hajjar series, we get to know Farah in fifth and sixth grade as she handles family and school troubles. Her resourcefulness and courage will win you over!
- The Garden of My Imaan by Farhana Zia - A new girl from Morocco finds an ally in fellow sixth grader, Marwa. Together they learn to celebrate their Muslim culture.
- The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews during the Holocaust by Karen Gray Ruelle – This title tells the true story of a Parisian mosque that opened its doors to Jews seeking refuge during the Nazi occupation of Paris.
- King of the Wind: Story of the Godolphin Arabian Alladin by Marguerite Henry – This classic tale depicts the legendary history of thoroughbred training and features the friendship between a boy and a golden-red stallion born in the Sultan of Morocco’s stables.
- Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter – This is a true story about a librarian’s struggle to save her community’s 30,000 books during the Iraq War.
- Museum Mysteries: The Case of the Empty Crates by Steven Brezenoff - The Air and Space Museum is adding a new exhibit, and Amal Farah and her friends get to attend the grand opening! But before the new exhibit goes live, some of the items go missing…
- My First Book of Arabic Words by Katy R. Kudela - Learn some beginner Arabic phrases!
- Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga – When tensions in their country turn volatile, Jude and her mother relocate from Syria to America. The transition has hiccups but Jude finds new interests and friends. This novel written in verse is wonderful middle grade tale about finding oneself.
- The Sadiq Series by Siman Nuurali – This series is about a Somali-American boy who tackles everything from pet problems to building bridges for a school project.
- Tales from the Arabian Nights by Donna Jo Napoli – This title features various retellings of stories about magic, love, adventure and betrayal.
- The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye - As a third-grader prepares to relocate to Michigan with his family, he savors each wonderful thing he will miss about his home country of Oman.
- Yara’s Spring by Jamal Saeed - The Arab Spring arrives suddenly and violently. When ten-year-old Yara emerges from rubble, she is confronted with a new Aleppo.
EASY (Picture Books)
- Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: Muslim Book of Shapes by Hena Khan – Learn about Islamic culture and architecture in this rhyming picture book about geometric shapes.
- Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane – Lalla looks up to her mother and big sister and can’t wait to wear a malafa just like them. A malafa is a colorful garment worn by the women in Mauritania. Lalla’s appreciation for the malafa grows deeper when she learns about what it represents.
- Halal Hot Dogs by Susannah Aziz – It’s Musa’s turn to choose the family’s Jummah treat of trying new foods, but he’ll stick with his favorite: halal hot dogs.
- Joha Makes Wish: a Middle Eastern Tale by Eric A. Kimmel – During his journey to Baghdad, Joha discovers a wishing stick. Excited at first, he quickly finds that the stick brings nothing but bad luck. Each wish results in the complete opposite! Will Joha learn to harness the stick’s powers?
- Mira’s Curly Hair by Maryam al Serkal – After a few bad hair straightening attempts, Mira learns to love and accept her naturally curly hair.
- Salma the Syrian Chef by Ahmad Danny Ramadan – To cheer up her mother, Salma decides to cook a homemade Syrian meal. Now she just needs to learn the recipe, how to pronounce the ingredients in English, and where to find them.
- Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper - A blizzard has ended, and Lina heads to visit her grandmother, Sitti. On her way, she considers Sitti’s diminishing eyesight and realizes that snow is not just seen, but heard.
And for teens and adults, check out the following titles featuring Arab-American characters and authors.
- All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney
- The Arab World Thought of It : Inventions, Innovations, and Amazing Facts by Saima Hussain
- Balcony on the Moon: A Coming of Age Memoir by Ibtisam Barakat
- Driving by Starlight by Anat Deracine
- Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga
- Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali
- Satoko & Nada, Vol. 1 by Yupechika
- We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
- You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen
- Young Palestinians Speak: Living Under Occupation by Anthony Robinson
- Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
- *Arabic for Dummies by Amine Bouchentouf
- The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World by Reem Kassis
- The Book Collectors : A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories that Carried them through a War by Delphine Minoui
- Halal if You Hear Me: The Breakbeat Poets, Vol. 3 edited by Fatimah Asghar & Safia Elhillo
- Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan
- The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami
- The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar
- Zaitoun: Recipes from a Palestinian Kitchen by Yasmin Khan
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