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Diverse Children's Literature: Middle Eastern

Topic information

Be careful not to box yourself into a concrete search term for your topic. Think of synonyms for your subject - broader terms, related terms, and narrower terms. Using this strategy will guarantee a wider selection of materials. Be aware, too, that some search terms may be uncomfortable to think or say out loud - but could yield possible results.

The term Middle Eastern is extremely broad and encompasses a variety of geographic areas, experiences, cultures, and identities. To help broaden and narrow searches, consider countries (e.g., Syria) as well as national identities (e.g., Bahranian). Familiarize yourself, too, with book awards specifically for Middle Eastern titles, like the Arab American Book Awards

Possible search termsIranian, Arab American, Egypt, Syrian, Israel, Persian, Arabian, Palestine

Picture Books and Early Readers

Big Red Lollipop
The Cat Man of Aleppo
Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets
A Drop of the Sea
Hands Around the Library
Lailah's Lunchbox
Moon Watchers
My Grandma and Me
Nabeel's New Pants
The Olive Tree
Saffron Ice Cream
The Story of Hurry
The Three Lucys
Time to Pray
Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur!

Middle Grade

Afghan Dreams
The Arab World Thought of It
The Arabian Nights
Everything Sad Is Untrue
Flying over Water
The Green Bicycle
It Ain't So Awful, Falafel
Once upon an Eid
Other Words for Home
Taking Cover
The Treasure of Maria Mamoun
The Turtle of Oman
The Unwanted
Wanting Mor
Where the Streets Had a Name

Young Adult

All-American Muslim Girl
Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card
Balcony on the Moon
Darius the Great Is Not Okay
Down and Across
Driving by Starlight
Escape from Syria
Here to Stay
I Was Their American Dream
A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
The Lines We Cross
Sea Prayer
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
We Hunt the Flame
The Wrath and the Dawn