The books listed are a sampling of the titles available. Ask your Children's Librarian for further suggestions and tell us which are your favorites.
- The Bedouin of the Middle East
Lerner, 2003. Kids Can Press, 1997.(j956-0049 LosL) Ages 9-12
Find out about the life, history, customs and future of these nomadic people.
Also: The Kurds of Asia (LoBaido). In the First Peoples series.
- Children of Israel
Carolrhoda, 2001.(j956.9405 Gros) Ages 8-11
Photo essay about the daily lives of children from a variety of locales and backgrounds. Also: Children of Egypt (Pitkanen). In The World’s Children series.
- Cooking the Lebanese Way
Revised edition. Lerner, 2003.(j641.5956 Amar 2003) Ages 9-13
Includes recipes for lunch, appetizers, dinner, and holiday and festival foods.
- Festivals of Egypt
Hoopoe Books, 1995.(j291 Abba) Ages 8-11
The ten most popular celebrations and their origins – Islamic, Christian, and Ancient Egyptian – are described.
- In an Egyptian City
Benchmark, 2003.(j962.605 ELda) Ages 6-9
Meet 7-year-old Boushra and experience with her a typical day in Cairo. In the A Child’s Day series.
Benchmark, 2004.(j956.7 Hass 2004) Ages 9+
Discusses the history, geography, and peoples of Iraq. Also: Bahrain (Cooper); Egypt (Pateman); Iran (Rajendra); Israel (DuBois); Kuwait (O’Shea); Saudi Arabia (Janin); Turkey (Sheehan). In the Cultures of the World series.
- Jewish Holidays All Year Round
Abrams/In Association with the Jewish Museum, 2002.(j296.43 Coop) Ages 8-11
A thoughtful exploration of the history, significance and observations of thirteen Jewish holidays and festivals.
Houghton Mifflin, 2003.(j726.2 Maca) Ages 10+
In a fictional framework, Macaulay details the design, construction, and uses of a 16th century mosque and its adjoining buildings.
Also: A 16th Century Mosque (Macdonald)
- National Geographic Atlas of the Middle East.
National Geographic, 2003.(j912.56) Ages 10+
Sixteen countries and the Occupied Territories and six major cities are presented in maps, with additional historical maps and timeline. Also in Adult collection.
- The Ottoman Empire
Benchmark, 2003.(j956.1015 Rugg) Ages 10+ Overview of the history, religion, culture and legacy of the Ottoman Turks from 1288-1918. Also: The Ancient Hebrews (Mann); The Golden Age of Islam (George); Mesopotamia (Service); The Persian Empire (Zeinert); The Phoenicians (Marston). In the Cultures of the Past series.
- Our Children: Drawings and Captions
Center for Research and Studies on Kuwait, 2002.(ARABIC j892.7 Our) Ages 10+
In vivid words and art, Kuwaiti young people express their feelings about life and their country. Text in English and Arabic.
Cobblestone, 2003.(j956.94 PaLe v. 19) Ages 8-12
Artlcles about many aspects of Palestinian life in the May 2003 issue of the magazine, Faces: People, Places and Cultures.
- Science in Early Islamic Cultures
Watts, 1998.(j509.1767 Besh 1998) Ages 9-12
Building on the knowledge of ancient civilizations, Muslim scholars made advances in math, astronomy, geography and medicine.
- Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak
Groundwood, 2004.(j956.04 ELLi) Ages 10+
Twenty young people from 8 to 18 speak of their daily lives and what it’s like to live in the midst of violent conflict.
- Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta, 1325-1354
Houghton Mifflin, 2001.(j910.92 Rumf) Ages 7-10
A young Moroccan scholar journeyed across the known world all the way to China and back.
- Understanding the Holy Land: Answering Questions about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Viking, 2005.(j956.9405 Fran) Ages 11+
Balanced, straightforward questions and answer presentation of the complexities in the Middle East by a Time Magazine reporter.
- The Western Wall: And Other Jewish Holy Places
Raintree, 2003.(j296.482 Ross) Ages 8-11
Judaism is introduced through its sacred sites. Also: Mecca: And Other Islamic Holy Places. In the Holy Places series.
- Women in the Middle East: Tradition and Change
Watts, 2003.(j305.4209 Hari 2003) Ages 12+
Enlightening introduction to the varied experiences of Islamic women in the Middle East and North Africa.
- The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq
Harcourt, 2005.(jB Bake) Ages 5-9
Alia Muhammad Baker struggles to save the books in the Basra Central Library during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Also: Alia’s Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq (Stamaty).
- Muhammad of Mecca
Watts, 2001.(j297.63 Mars) Ages 10+
Chronicles the life of the revered prophet and the spread of Islam after his death. For younger readers: Muhammad (Demi).
- A promise fulfilled : Theodor Hertzl, Chaim Weitzmann, and David Ben-Gurion and the creation of the state of Israel
Greenwillow, 2005.(j320-5409 Gree) Ages 12+
Insight into three men with the same life mission: to establish a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine.
- Rumi: Poet and Sage
Hood Hood Books, 1997.(j891.5511 John) Ages 8-12
A picture biography of the noted Islamic/Sufi poet and his work.
- Saladin: Nobel Prince of Islam
HarperCollins 2002.(jB SaLa) Ages 8-12
The life of the compassionate 12th century Kurd who united Muslim forces to liberate Jerusalem from the Crusaders, recounted in picture book format. Also: Cleopatra.
Folklore and Poetry
- 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East
Greenwillow, 2002.(j811.54 Nye) Ages 11+
A heartfelt wish for peace permeates these 60 poems. Also in the Teen collection.
- Animal Tales from the Arab World
Hoopoe Books, 1995.(j398.2091 John) Ages 7-10
Brief, fable-like tales show proud, wise, clever, and foolish animals.
- The Epic of Gilgamesh
Eerdmans, 2003.(j398.2095 McCa) Ages 9+
A robust retelling of the world’s oldest written story about an oppressive Mesopotamian king who goes in search of immortality after his best friend dies.
- The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story
Holiday House, 1998.(j398.2095 Hick) Ages 5-9
- Next Year in Jerusalem: 3,000 Years of Jewish Stories
Viking, 1996.(j296.4 Schw) Ages 10+
Eleven Jewish tales centered on the city of Jerusalem and enhanced with historical notes.
- The Seven Wise Princesses: A Medieval Persian Epic
Barefoot, 2000.(j891.551 Tarn) Ages 9-12
Each princess tells Shah Bahram a tale of love and virtue in this collection based on an epic poem by Nizami, a 12th century Persian poet.
- Sindbad: From the Tales of the Thousand and One Nights
Tundra, 1999.(j398.22 Zema) Ages 5-9
Two of the seven voyages of the famous sailor are brought to life with dramatic illustrations. Also: Gilgamesh the King and its sequels.
- The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East
Simon & Schuster, 1998.(j808.81 Spac) Ages 9+
Poets and artists from 20 countries speak of childhood, family, daily life and the natural world in their homelands. Also, an abridged paperback version: The Flag of Childhood. Also in the Teen collection.
- Watermelons, Walnuts, and the Wisdom of Allah
Texas Tech University Press, 1991.(j398.2209 WaLk 1991) Ages 7-10
Eighteen tales about the wisdom and the foolishness of the Turkish fold hero Nasreddin Hoca. For younger readers: The Hungry Coat (Demi).
- The Wonderful Story of Zaal: A Persian Legend
Mage, 1986.(FARSI j398.2095 Batm)
A white-haired baby, banished by his father, is saved and raised by a magical bird. Told in English and Persian.
- Against the Storm
Little, Brown, 1992.(jF Hicy) Ages 11+
Set in contemporary Turkey, a 12-year-old boy moves with his family from a village farm in Ankara where life is even more difficult.
- The Beduins’ Gazelle
Orchard, 1996.(jF Temp) Ages 11+
A Bedouin boy, forced to study in the city, must return home to rescue his cousin from a forced marriage. The year is 1302, and they have been betrothed since birth. Also in Teen.
- The Dog of Knots
Eerdmans, 2004.(jF KapL) Ages 9-12
An old, stray dog is cared for by several people in Haifa – you and old, Arab and Jew. For a Jewish girl, the dog becomes a symbol of memory, love, and hope in strife-torn Israel.
Simon & Schuster, 1997.(jF Nye) Ages 10+
Adjustment is difficult for a 14-year-old Arab American girl who moves with her family to Jerusalem, especially when she begins a close friendship with an Israeli boy. Also in Teen.
- The House of Wisdom.
DK Ink, 1999.(jF Heid) Ages 7-10
An extraordinary Islamic library in 9th century Baghdad is seen through the eyes of a scholar’s son.
- Kiss the Dust
Dutton, 1992.(jF Lair) Ages 10+
When secret police come looking for her father during the Iran-Iraq war of 1984-85, a Kurdish girl and her family flee Iraq and become refugees in Iran.
- Running on Eggs
Front Street/Cricket, 1999.(jF Levi) Ages 9-13
Because of their love of running, an Israeli girl and a Palestinian girl maintain a friendship despite the odds.
- Sami and the Time of the Troubles
Clarion, 1992.(jF Heid) Ages 6-9
A Lebanese boy and his family struggle to maintain a normal life in their uncle’s basement in civil war-torn Beirut.
- Samir and Yonatan
Arthur A Levine/Scholastic, 2000.(jF Carm) Ages 10+
An unlikely friendship develops between a Palestinian boy and an Israeli boy when they have adjoining beds in a Jewish hospital.
- Seven Daughters and Seven Sons
Atheneum, 1982.(jF Cohe) Ages 11+
With her father’s support, a venturesome middle daughter goes out into the world. Disguised as a man she secures a good future for herself and her sisters. Based on an 11th century Iraqi tale from the oral tradition.
- Shadow Spinner
Atheneum, 1998.(jF FLet) Ages 10+
In ancient Persia, a 13-year-old lame servant girl must join the Sultan’s harem in order to find stories for Shahrazad.
- A Stone in My Hand
Candlewick, 2002.(jF CLin) Ages 10-13
A Palestinian girl, living under Israeli military occupation in 1988, worries about her missing father and her brother who wants to join the Islamic Jihad.
- Alef-Bet: A Hebrew Alphabet Book
Lothrop, 1992.(HEBREW j492 Edwa) Ages 3-6
Letters and related words are presented in the context of a family’s everyday activities.
- Ali, Child of the Desert
Lothrop, 1997.(jPS Lond) Ages 6-9
On a trek across the Sahara to market, a young boy and his camel become lost during a dust storm.
- The Day of Ahmed’s Secret
Lothrop, 1990.(jPS Heid) Ages 5-8
To help his father, a boy living in Cairo delivers bottles of water all day long. He can’t wait to share a special secret with his family that night.
- Hosni the Dreamer
Farrar, 1997.(jPS Bene) Ages 5-9
Rewarded with a gold coin for his work, a simple shepherd buys a verse that provides life-saving advice in this story based on an Arabian folktale.
- My First Arabic Alphabet Book
Tahrike Tarsile Qu’ran, 1999.(jBOARD Juma) Ages 1-5
Introduction to all 28 letters – their names and how they are written.
- Shalom, Salaam, Peace
Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1999.(ARABIC j821 Bogo) Ages 4-8
An idealistic poem in Hebrew, Arabic and English explores the meanings of peace.
- Sitti’s Secrets
Four Winds, 1994.(jPS Nye) Ages 4-8
A young American girl recalls a visit to her Arabic-speaking grandmother who lives far away in a Palestinian village. Similar to The Stars in The Stares in my Geddoh’s Sky (Matze), in which a boy’s Middle Eastern grandfather visits the U. S.