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April is Arab-American Heritage Month

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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!

KIDS

  • 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.
  • 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…
  • 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)

  • 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 RamadanTo 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.

TEENS

ADULTS

*Interested in learning Arabic? Try Rosetta Stone, available for free with a library card through our website’s Research & Learning databases.

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