10+ Friendship Arab Children Books {Resource}

Happy Friendship week!

As we begin this week celebrating people who we choose to surround ourselves with in our life, I am reminded of this Anyomous quote I like to share with my kids:

“It doesn’t matter who hurt you, or who broke you down, what matters is who made you smile again.”

To help my kids observe this week, I’ve pulled out a few books from our shelf (many on this list of 99 Arab Children Books) and we’ll be reading one each night. One our 7th night, to end our week with a blast, we’ll have a friendship party. We’ll invite some friends over, share a movie and popcorn and giggle the night away.

Feel free to click on any of these books and read along with us! Our flick pick is at the end.

Bahous, S. Sitti and the Cats: A Tale of Friendship. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart Publishers, 1997.This version of a traditional Palestinian folktale reflects values of friendship and community, allowing the errant member to correct her ways and return to society. Boxed notes on almost every page provide interesting information about the land, language, foods, and family customs.

Bunting, Eve. One Green apple. New York: Clarion Books, 2006.Young immigrant Farah gains self-confidence when the green apple she spicks perfectly complements the other students red apples. Illustrated by Ted Lewin.

Marston, Elsa. Olive Tree, The. Bloomington, Indiana: Wisdom Tales Press, 2014.
The house next door to Sameer’s had been empty for as long as he could remember. The family had gone away when the war began. But now they were back, and he was ready to have fun with his new playmate. Together they could climb the big olive tree that overlooked both their gardens, and eat the delicious olives it produced. The only problem was that Muna, the little girl next door, didn’t want to play and she didn’t want to share the olives. She said they belonged to her family alone―that is, until one fateful night when lightning struck the tree.

Nagda, Ann W. Dear Whiskers. New York: Holiday House, 2000.
Jenny is discouraged when her second grade penpal turns out to be a new student from Saudi Arabia who does not speak English very well, but as she works with her they slowly become friends.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. Habibi. New York: Simon Pulse, 1999.
The day after Liyana got her first real kiss, her life changed forever. Not because of the kiss, but because it was the day her father announced that the family was moving from St. Louis all the way to Palestine. Though her father grew up there, Liyana knows very little about her family’s Arab heritage. Her grandmother and the rest of her relatives who live in the West Bank are strangers, and speak a language she can’t understand. It isn’t until she meets Omer that her homesickness fades. But Omer is Jewish, and their friendship is silently forbidden in this land. How can they make their families understand? And how can Liyana ever learn to call this place home?

Williams, Karen Lynn and Khadra Mohammad. Four Feet, Two Sandals. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2007.
When relief workers bring used clothing to a refugee camp in Pakistan, ten-year-old Lina is thrilled when she finds a sandal that fits her foot perfectly – until she sees that another girl has the matching shoe. But soon Lina and Feroza meet and decide that it is better to share the sandals than for each to wear only one. The girls discover the true meaning of friendship and sacrifice. “Four Feet, Two Sandals” honors the experiences of refugee children around the world, whose daily existence is marked by uncertainty and fear. Warm colors and bold brush strokes are the perfect complement to this story of courage and hope.

Our movie will be the award winner Captain Abu Raed, directed by Amin Matalqa.
Filmed in Aman, Jordan, Captain Abu Raed is a universal story of friendship, inspiration and heroism set in contemporary Jordan. The first dramatic independent feature film to come out of Jordan in the last 50 years. Abu Raed is an aging airport janitor who has always yearned of seeing the world but has never been able to afford to travel. One day a group of children in his poor neighborhood assume he is a pilot and beg him to share stories of the world outside of Amman, Jordan. Through imaginary tales a friendship forms and he finds the grim realities of the children’s home life. He takes it upon himself to make a difference.


I hope you enjoy our selection of night time reading this week. To check out more Arab selections we love, visit Crafty Arab Authors and Crafty Arab Movies on Pinterest.