North Africa & Middle East

Sitti’s Secrets

A beautiful picture book about family and love across distance. Mona’s grandmother, her Sitti, lives in a small Palestinian village on the other side of the earth. Once, Mona went to visit her. They couldn’t speak each other’s language, so they made up their own. They learned about each other’s worlds, and they discovered each …

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The Red Pencil

“Amira, look at me,” Muma insists. She collects both my hands in hers. “The Janjaweed attack without warning. If ever they come–run.” Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala–Amira’s one true dream. But life in her peaceful …

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Other Words for Home

I am learning how to be sad and happy at the same time. Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives. …

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Baba, What Does My Name Mean? A Journey to Palestine

As Saamidah rediscovers her Palestinian roots, her ancestral homeland becomes a tangible place, rife with life and hope. Rifk Ebeid’s “Baba, What Does My Name Mean” is an enjoyable, yet profound representation of Palestine that will help children trace their Palestinian identity and heritage in an unforgettable way. Identity, Palestine, Homeland, Heritage, Ancestry

The Butter Man

As young Nora waits impatiently for her mother to come home from work and for her father to serve the long-simmering couscous that smells so delicious, her father tells her about his childhood in Morocco. During a famine, when Nora’s grandfather had to travel far to find work and bring food for the family, her …

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The Shadow of Ghadames

A Muslim child poised on the threshold of adulthood comes to understand that her world is less constrained than she supposes. Bolstered by centuries of custom, the streets of the Libyan city of Ghadames are considered men’s territory, while, with limited exceptions, the women are confined to the connected rooftops. Though Malika has the freedom …

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The Princess and the Foal

A novel of heart and courage inspired by the incredible story of a real-life princess and the foal she loves. Princess Haya, daughter of the King of Jordan, loves her family more than anything. So when tragedy strikes at its heart, she is devastated. The Princess becomes ever more withdrawn until, on her birthday, the …

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The Turtle of Oman

Aref does not want to leave Oman. He does not want to leave his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Sidi. He does not want to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents will go to graduate school. His mother is desperate for him to pack his suitcase—but he refuses. Finally, she …

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