The nation's two-hundred-thirty-five Islamic schools
The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust. Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland Desaix. Holiday House, 2009 (4-6) Courage, Compassion A little-known, true story from World War II, gorgeously illustrated. In occupied Paris, Jews had reason to fear for their lives. The Algerian-born rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris mobilized fellow Muslims to assist them. Built atop a network of tunnels, the Mosque afforded sanctuary; the Muslim community provided new identity papers, and safe passage for many Jews.. This well-researched, highly informative book documents the courage of those who risked their lives in this effort and inspires hope in compassion as a bond between all peoples and faiths. Excellent older grade read-aloud.
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns A Muslim Book of Colors. Hena Khan. Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. Chronicle Books, 2015. (K-2) Wonder, Faithfulness A stunningly beautiful book (the illustrations steal show) that introduces young children to traditions and key features of Islam by means of color. "Red is the rug, Dad kneels on to pray, facing toward Mecca, five times a day." "Gold is the dome of the mosque, big and grand. Beside it two towering minarets stand." This could be used in a Core Knowledge first grade class for introduction to monotheistic world religions.
The Hundredth Name.Oppenheim, Shulamith Levy. Illustrated by Michael Hays. Boyds Mills Press, 1995. (1-4) Hope Salah, a Muslim child, wishes with all his heart to lift the sadness of his friend and constant companion, the camel, Qadiim. This is a rich and moving story of a child’s faith and the love that leads him to ask Allah to reveal to Qadiim, the hundredth name of God, which human beings can never know. Set in Islamic Egypt and lavishly illustrated.
Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story.Reem Faruqi. Illustrated by Lea Lyon. Tilbury House, 2015. (1-5) Courage, Respect, Faith Lailah's family has moved from Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) to Atlanta, and the ten-year-old girl won't be bringing her lunchbox to school during the feast of Ramadan, when devout Muslims fast. Lailah is excited to fast because it means she's growing up, but anxious about how to explain the custom to her teachers and classmates, who assume she's just forgotten her lunch. What will they think of her? After agonizing in silence in the cafeteria, she slips off to the library, where she confides in the school librarian, and they formulate a plan. Lailah writes a very well received poem of explanation to her teacher and friends. A little girl has the courage of her convictions, and her classmates come to understand and respect a different tradition. The lesson has potential applicability for all children agonizing over customs that make them or their families different. Beautiful watercolor illustrations. The content makes this a 1-5 option.
Rumi. Whirling Dervish. Demi. Marshall Cavendish, 2009. (4-6) Wonder, Schools of Faith The Muslim poet Rumi was born in thirteenth century Afghanistan, but moved to Turkey with his family when Genghis Khan invaded. He was educated by his father, and by a hermit, who taught him all he knew. But Rumi looked for more –seeking the spirit of God within. He met another spiritual teacher, (Shamsuddin), who taught Rumi to meditate and soon, Rumi began to recite poetry about nature, angels and God. The rhythm of his poetry made him want to dance and whirl. His followers also whirled to feel closer to God. Though he has been gone for 800 years, his poetry and dance live on. (Works with Core Knowledge unit on Islamic Empires, Grade 4).
Ramadan Around the World.Ndaa Hassan. Illustrated by Minha Kauser. (Hassan, 2018) K-2 Holiday From one sighting of the crescent moon to the next, Ramadan lasts 30 days, and in this lovely picture book the reader joins the moon as it looks down on families around the world celebrating the Muslim month of fasting, prayer, charity, and community. This is not a preachy book. Instead, it spotlights the range and diversity of the Muslim community worldwide (from the US to Senegal, from Turkey to Scotland, Egypt to Australia), diverse traditions during the month, and acts of charity encouraged. Very poignant inclusion of autistic children, hearing-impaired, wheel-chair bound, and from folks all different backgrounds. A very good introduction to Ramadan for those who know little about it.
The White Nights of Ramadan. Maha Addasi. Illustrated by Ned Gannon. Boyd Mills Press, 2017. 2-4 Holiday The story of a Middle Eastern family celebrating "Girgian," the three day period in Ramadan when children dress in traditional garb, and go house to house to collect candy -- which the families have made. The story flows nicely and invites readers to learn about another culture and a unique holiday. Noor, the little girl we follow, remembers to share with those in need, as well as make candy! Stunning illustrations suffused with light capture the reader's attention.