50+ Refugee Muslim Children Books {Resource}

This children book list with Muslim refugees protagonist was created to raise awareness for World Refugee Day.

It consists mostly of Middle Grade (MG), age range: 8-12, and Young Adult (YA) books, age range: 12 and up, with a few picture/chapter books (PB), age range: 0-8.

This day is honored each year on June 20 by the United Nations, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The UNHCR, along with countless civic groups around the world, host World Refugee Day events in order to draw the public’s attention to the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution.

I took some children books from Children’s Books about/for Arab Children, but have expanded on it to include newly published books.

I am an Amazon affiliate member, so clicking on these titles will give you the ability to purchase them.

Feel free to buy any of these books here to stock your books with multicultural children literature and shukran (Arabic for thank you) for continuing to support my educational blog.

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Abawi, Atia. A Land of Permanent Goodbyes.

In a country ripped apart by war, Tareq lives with his big and loving family . . . until the bombs strike. His city is in ruins. His life is destroyed. And those who have survived are left to figure out their uncertain future.

But while this is one family’s story, it is also the timeless tale of all wars, of all tragedy, and of all strife. When you are a refugee, success is outliving your loss.

Abdel-Fattah, Randa. Lines We Cross.

Michael likes to hang out with his friends and play with the latest graphic design software. His parents drag him to rallies held by their anti-immigrant group, which rails against the tide of refugees flooding the country. And it all makes sense to Michael.

Until Mina, a beautiful girl from the other side of the protest lines, shows up at his school, and turns out to be funny, smart — and a Muslim refugee from Afghanistan. Suddenly, his parents’ politics seem much more complicated.

Mina has had a long and dangerous journey fleeing her besieged home in Afghanistan, and now faces a frigid reception at her new prep school, where she is on scholarship. As tensions rise, lines are drawn. Michael has to decide where he stands. Mina has to protect herself and her family. Both have to choose what they want their world to look like.

Abdel-Fattah, Randa. Where The Streets Had A Name.

Thirteen year old Hayaat is on a mission. She believes a handful of soil from her grandmother’s ancestral home in Jerusalem will save her beloved Sitti Zeynab’s life. The only problem is that Hayaat and her family live behind the impenetrable wall that divides the West Bank, and they’re on the wrong side of check points, curfews, and the travel permit system. Plus, Hayaat’s best friend Samy always manages to attract trouble. But luck is on the pair’s side as they undertake the journey to Jerusalem from the Palestinian Territories when Hayaat and Samy have a curfew-free day to travel.

Abdullah, Shaila M. Rani in Search of a Rainbow.(PB)

Displaced by the Pakistan floods, Rani’s family has taken refuge at a relief camp where they are doing their part to help other flood victims. Eight-year-old Rani wants to assist but doesn’t know how. Heeding the advice of her father to help in a way only children can, Rani embarks on a journey to bring true joy to a dear friend on the occasion of Eid.

Alabed, Bana. Dear World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace.

When seven-year-old Bana Alabed took to Twitter to describe the horrors she and her family were experiencing in war-torn Syria, her heartrending messages touched the world and gave a voice to millions of innocent children.

Dear World is a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit, the unconquerable courage of a child, and the abiding power of hope. It is a story that will leave you changed.

Al-Maria, Sophia. Girl Who Fell to Earth: A Memoir, The.

Award-winning filmmaker and writer Sophia Al-Maria’s The Girl Who Fell to Earth is a funny and wry coming-of-age memoir about growing up in between American and Gulf Arab cultures. With poignancy and humor, Al-Maria shares the struggles of being raised by an American mother and Bedouin father while shuttling between homes in the Pacific Northwest and the Middle East. Part family saga and part personal quest, The Girl Who Fell to Earth traces Al-Maria’s journey to make a place for herself in two different worlds.

Applegate , Katherine. Home of the Brave

Kek comes from Sudan where he lived with his mother, father, and brother. But only he and his mother have survived. Now she’s missing, and Kek has been sent to a new home. In America, he sees snow for the first time, and feels its sting. He wonders if the people in this new place will be like the winter―cold and unkind. But slowly he makes friends: a girl in foster care, an old woman with a rundown farm, and a sweet, sad cow that reminds Kek of home. As he waits for word of his mother’s fate, Kek weathers the tough Minnesota winter by finding warmth in his new friendships, strength in his memories, and belief in his new country.

Beckwith , Kathy. Playing War.

One summer day Luke and his friends decide to play their favorite game of war, but Sameer, who is new to the neighborhood, hesitates to join in.
When Sameer tells them that he has been in a real war, they don’t believe him. As he tells what happened to his family, the others start to see their game in a new light.

Brown, Don. Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees.

Starting in 2011, refugees flood out of war-torn Syria in Exodus-like proportions. The surprising flood of victims overwhelms neighboring countries, and chaos follows. Resentment in host nations heightens as disruption and the cost of aid grows. By 2017, many want to turn their backs on the victims. The refugees are the unwanted

Budhos, Marina. Watched.

Be careful what you say and who you say it to. Anyone might be a watcher. Naeem is a Bangledeshi teenager living in Queens who thinks he can charm his way through anything. But then mistakes catch up with him. So do the cops, who offer him an impossible choice: spy on his Muslim neighbors and report back to them on shady goings-on, or face a police record. Naeem wants to be a hero—a protector. He wants his parents to be proud of him. But as time goes on, the line between informing and entrapping blurs. Is he saving or betraying his community?

Inspired by actual surveillance practices in New York City and elsewhere, Marina Budhos’s extraordinary and timely novel examines what it’s like to grow up with Big Brother always watching. Naeem’s riveting story is as vivid and involving as today’s headlines.

Bunting, Eve. One Green Apple. (PB)

Farah feels alone, even when surrounded by her classmates. She listens and nods but doesn’t speak. It’s hard being the new kid in school, especially when you’re from another country and don’t know the language. Then, on a field trip to an apple orchard, Farah discovers there are lots of things that sound the same as they did at home, from dogs crunching their food to the ripple of friendly laughter. As she helps the class make apple cider, Farah connects with the other students and begins to feel that she belongs.

de Arias, Patricia. Marwan’s Journey.

One night they came… The darkness grew colder, deeper, darker, and swallowed up everything… Marwan is a young boy on a journey he never intended to take, bound for a place he doesn’t know. On his journey, he relies on courage and memories of his faraway homeland to buoy him. With him are hundreds and thousands of other human beings, crossing the deserts and the seas, fleeing war and hunger in search of safety. He must take one step after another—bringing whatever he can carry, holding on to dreams. This is the journey of one boy who longs for a home, and we follow his path, walking hand in hand with him as he looks forward with uncertainty and hopes for a peaceful future. This beautiful, heartfelt story gives a human face to the plight of refugees all over the world. Marwan’s journey is everyone’s journey.

Del Rizzo, Suzanne. My Beautiful Birds.

Behind Sami, the Syrian skyline is full of smoke. The boy follows his family and all his neighbours in a long line, as they trudge through the sands and hills to escape the bombs that have destroyed their homes. But all Sami can think of is his pet pigeons―will they escape too?

A gentle yet moving story of refugees of the Syrian civil war, My Beautiful Birds illuminates the ongoing crisis as it affects its children. It shows the reality of the refugee camps, where people attempt to pick up their lives and carry on. And it reveals the hope of generations of people as they struggle to redefine home.

Dumas, Firoozeh. It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel.

Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block . . . for the fourth time. California’s Newport Beach is her family’s latest perch, and she’s determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new Brady Bunch name—Cindy. It’s the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even puka shell necklaces, pool parties, and flying fish can’t distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home. A poignant yet lighthearted middle grade debut from the author of the best-selling Funny in Farsi.

Dunn​, Patricia. Rebels by Accident.

That’s not easy when she’s the only Egyptian at her high school and her parents are super traditional. So when she sneaks into a party that gets busted, Mariam knows she’s in trouble…big trouble.Convinced she needs more discipline and to reconnect with her roots, Mariam’s parents send her to Cairo to stay with her grandmother, her sittu.

But Marian’s strict sittu and the country of her heritage are nothing like she imagined, challenging everything Mariam once believed. As Mariam searches for the courage to be true to herself, a teen named Asmaa calls on the people of Egypt to protest their president. The country is on the brink of revolution―and now, in her own way, so is Mariam.

Ellis, Deborah. Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees.(YA)

The United States and its allies invaded Iraq seven years ago. Today the country is still at war, and no one can claim that true democracy has come. Four million Iraqis have been displaced, and about half of them, unable to flee the country, are now living in remote tent camps without access to schools, health care, or often even food and clean water.

Iraqi children’s frank and harrowing stories reveal inspiring resilience as the children try to survive the consequences of a war in which they play no part.

Ellis, Deborah. Mud City.

The final book of the Breadwinner trilogy is the story of Parvana’s best friend. Although, fourteen-year-old Shauzia escaped the misery of her life in Kabul and now lives in a refugee camp in Pakistan, she still dreams of seeing the ocean and eventually making a new life in France.

Farizan, Sara. Here to Stay.

What happens when a kid who’s flown under the radar for most of high school gets pulled off the bench to make the winning basket in a varsity playoff game? If his name is Bijan Majidi, life is suddenly high fives in the hallways and invitations to exclusive parties—along with an anonymous photo sent by a school cyberbully that makes Bijan look like a terrorist. 

The administration says they’ll find and punish the culprit. Bijan wants to pretend it never happened. He’s not ashamed of his Middle Eastern heritage; he just doesn’t want to be a poster child for Islamophobia. Lots of classmates rally around Bijan. Others make it clear they don’t want him or anybody who looks like him at their school. But it’s not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends.

Fleming, Melissa. A Hope More Powerful than the Sea.

Adrift in a frigid sea, no land in sight―just debris from the ship’s wreckage and floating corpses all around―nineteen-year-old Doaa Al Zamel floats with a small inflatable water ring around her waist and clutches two children, barely toddlers, to her body. The children had been thrust into Doaa’s arms by their drowning relatives, all refugees who boarded a dangerously overcrowded ship bound for Sweden and a new life. For days, Doaa floats, prays, and sings to the babies in her arms. She must stay alive for these children. She must not lose hope.

Garland, Sarah. Azzi in Between.

Azzi and her parents are in danger. They have to leave their home and escape to another country on a frightening journey by car and boat. In the new country they must learn to speak a new language, find a new home and Azzi must start a new school. With a kind helper at the school, Azzi begins to learn English and understand that she is not the only one who has had to flee her home. She makes a new friend, and with courage and resourcefulness, begins to adapt to her new life. But Grandma has been left behind and Azzi misses her more than anything. Will Azzi ever see her grandma again? Drawing on her own experience of working among refugee families, renowned author and illustrator Sarah Garland tells, with tenderness and humour, an exciting adventure story to be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Gratz, Alan. Refugee.

MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . . This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.

Gray, Nigel. A Balloon for Grandad.

This is the story of a young boy and his Grandad Abdullah who live in different countries, with a different lifestyle and culture.

Hashimi, Nadia. When the Moon Is Low: A Novel.

Mahmoud’s passion for his wife Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she’s ever known. But their happy, middle-class world—a life of education, work, and comfort—implodes when their country is engulfed in war, and the Taliban rises to power.

Hiranandani, Veera. Night Diary.

It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.

Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can’t imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together.

Hoffman, Mary. Colour of Home.

Hassan feels out of place in a new cold, grey country. At school, he paints a picture showing his colourful Somalian home, covered with the harsh colours of war from which his family has fled. He tells his teacher about their voyage from Mogadishu to Mombassa, the refugee camp and on to England. But gradually things change. When Hassan’s parents put up his next picture on the wall, Hassan notices the maroon prayer mat, a bright green cushion and his sister Naima’s pink dress – the new colours of home.

Iyer, Deepa. We Too Sing America.(YA)

In the lead-up to the recent presidential election, Donald Trump called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States, surveillance against mosques, and a database for all Muslims living in the country, tapping into anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim hysteria to a degree little seen since the targeting of South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh people in the wake of 9/11.

In the American Book Award–winning We Too Sing America, nationally renowned activist Deepa Iyer shows that this is the latest in a series of recent racial flash points, from the 2012 massacre at the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, to the violent opposition to the Islamic Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and to the Park 51 Community Center in Lower Manhattan.

Iyer asks whether hate crimes should be considered domestic terrorism and explores the role of the state in perpetuating racism through detentions, national registration programs, police profiling, and constant surveillance. Reframing the discussion of race in America, she “reaches into the complexities of the many cultures that make up South Asia” (Publishers Weekly) and provides ideas from the front lines of post-9/11 America.

Joukhadar, Zeyn. Map of Salt and Stars.(YA)

This rich, moving, and lyrical debut novel is to Syria what The Kite Runner was to Afghanistan; the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker—places today’s headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again.

Khan, Hena. Amina’s Voice.(MG)

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.

Khan, Rukhsana. Roses in My Carpets, The.

It’s always the same. The jets scream overhead. They’ve seen me. I’m running to slowly, dragging my mother and sister behind. In a flowerless war-torn world where every inch of land must be used to grow precious food, a young boy weaves roses in his carpets as he masters the skills that may save his family from a life of poverty. For a young refugee living with loss and terror-filled memoriers, time is measured by the next bucket of water, the next portion of bread, and the next call to prayer. Here where everything-walls, floor, courtyard-is mud, a boy’s heart can still long for freedom, independence, and safety. And here, where life is terribly fragile, the strength to endure grows out of need. But the strength to dream comes from within.

Khan, Rukhsana. Coming to Canada.(YA)

A children’s novella about a young girl’s immigrant experience.

Kobald, Irena. My Two Blankets.

Cartwheel moves to a new country with her auntie, and everything is strange: the animals, the plants—even the wind. An old blanket gives Cartwheel comfort when she’s sad—and a new blanket just might change her world.

Kuntz, Doug and Amy Shrodes . Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey.

This heartwarming true story about one lost cat’s journey to be reunited with his refugee family gently introduces children to a difficult topic and shows how ordinary people can help with compassion and hope.
This remarkable true story is told by the real people involved, with the full cooperation of Kunkush’s family.

Laird, Elizabeth. A little piece of ground.

Twelve-year-old Karim Aboudi and his family are trapped in their Ramallah home by a strict curfew. In response to a Palestinian suicide bombing, the Israeli military subjects the West Bank town to a virtual siege. Meanwhile, Karim, trapped at home with his teenage brother and fearful parents, longs to play football with his friends. When the curfew ends, he and his friend discover an unused patch of ground that’s the perfect site for a football pitch. Nearby, an old car hidden intact under bulldozed building makes a brilliant den. But in this city there’s constant danger, even for schoolboys. And when Israeli soldiers find Karim outside during the next curfew, it seems impossible that he will survive.

Leatherdale, Mary Beth. Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees.

The phenomenon of desperate refugees risking their lives to reach safety is not new. For hundreds of years, people have left behind family, friends, and all they know in hope of a better life. This book presents five true stories about young people who lived through the harrowing experience of setting sail in search of asylum: Ruth and her family board the St. Louis to escape Nazism; Phu sets out alone from war-torn Vietnam; José tries to reach the U.S. from Cuba; Najeeba flees Afghanistan and the Taliban; Mohamed, an orphan, runs from his village on the Ivory Coast. Aimed at middle grade students, Stormy Seas combines a contemporary collage-based design, sidebars, fact boxes, timeline and further reading to produce a book that is ideal for both reading and research. Readers will gain new insights into a situation that has constantly been making the headlines.

Lombard, Jenny. Drita, My Homegirl.

Fleeing war-torn Kosovo, ten-year-old Drita and her family move to America with the dream of living a typical American life. But with this hope comes the struggle to adapt and fit in. How can Drita find her place at school and in her new neighborhood when she doesn?t speak any English? Meanwhile, Maxie and her group of fourth-grade friends are popular in their class, and make an effort to ignore Drita. So when their teacher puts Maxie and Drita together for a class project, things get off to a rocky start. But sometimes, when you least expect it, friendship can bloom and overcome even a vast cultural divide.

Marsh, Katherine. Nowhere Boy.

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Aleppo, Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Now Ahmed’s struggling to get by on his own, but with no one left to trust and nowhere to go, he’s starting to lose hope.

Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy from Washington, D.C. Lonely and homesick, Max is struggling at his new school and just can’t seem to do anything right. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed’s lives collide and a friendship begins to grow. Together, Max and Ahmed will defy the odds, learning from each other what it means to be brave and how hope can change your destiny.

Mobin-Uddin, Asma. My Name Is Bilal. (PB)

When Bilal and his sister Ayesha move with their family, they have to attend a new school. They soon find out that they may be the only Muslim students there. When Bilal sees his sister bullied on their first day, he worries about being teased himself, and thinks it might be best if his classmates didn’t know that he is Muslim. Maybe if he tells kids his name is Bill, rather than Bilal, then they would leave him alone.

Mohammed, Khadra and Karen Williams. My Name Is Sangoel.

Sangoel is a refugee. Leaving behind his homeland of Sudan, where his father died in the war, he has little to call his own other than his name, a Dinka name handed down proudly from his father and grandfather before him. When Sangoel and his mother and sister arrive in the United States, everything seems very strange and unlike home. In this busy, noisy place, with its escalators and television sets and traffic and snow, Sangoel quietly endures the fact that no one is able to pronounce his name. Lonely and homesick, he finally comes up with an ingenious solution to this problem, and in the process he at last begins to feel at home.

Mohammed, Khadra and Karen Williams. Four Feet, Two Sandals.(PB)

When relief workers bring used clothing to the refugee camp, everyone scrambles to grab whatever they can. 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.

Morris, Ann. Grandma Hekmat Remembers: An Egyptian – American Family Story (What was it like Grandma?).(YA)

Three Arab-American girls learn about their family and cultural history from their grandmother, who grew up in Cairo, Egypt, and moved to New Jersey after her marriage.

Mustafa, Nujeen. Girl from Aleppo: Nujeen’s Escape from War to Freedom.(YA)

Prize-winning journalist and the co-author of smash New York Times bestseller I Am Malala, Christina Lamb, now tells the inspiring true story of another remarkable young hero: Nujeen Mustafa, a teenager born with cerebral palsy, whose harrowing journey from war-ravaged Syria to Germany in a wheelchair is a breathtaking tale of fortitude, grit, and hope that lends a face to the greatest humanitarian issue of our time, the Syrian refugee crisis.

Nye, ​Naomi Shihab. Turtle of Oman.

This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration. It tells the story of Aref Al-Amri, who must say good-bye to everything and everyone he loves in his hometown of Muscat, Oman, as his family prepares to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is acclaimed poet and National Book Award Finalist Naomi Shihab Nye’s first novel set in the Middle East since her acclaimed Habibi.

Aref Al-Amri does not want to leave Oman. He does not want to leave his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Siddi. 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 calls Siddi for help. But rather than pack, Aref and Siddi go on a series of adventures. They visit the camp of a thousand stars deep in the desert, they sleep on Siddi’s roof, they fish in the Gulf of Oman and dream about going to India, and they travel to the nature reserve to watch the sea turtles. At each stop, Siddi finds a small stone that he later slips into Aref’s suitcase—mementos of home.

O’Brien, Anne Sibley. I’m New Here.

Three students are immigrants from Guatemala, Korea, and Somalia and have trouble speaking, writing, and sharing ideas in English in their new American elementary school. Through self-determination and with encouragement from their peers and teachers, the students learn to feel confident and comfortable in their new school without losing a sense of their home country, language, and identity.

Young readers from all backgrounds will appreciate this touching story about the assimilation of three immigrant students in a supportive school community.

Paterson, Katherine. Day of the Pelican, The.

Meli Lleshi is positive that her drawing of her teacher with his pelican nose started it all. The Lleshis are Albanians living in Kosovo, a country trying to fight off Serbian oppressors, and suddenly they are homeless refugees. Old and young alike, they find their courage tested by hunger, illness, the long, arduous journey, and danger on every side. Then, unexpectedly, they are brought to America by a church group and begin a new life in a small Vermont town. The events of 9/11 bring more challenges for this Muslim family–but this country is their home now and there can be no turning back.A compassionate, powerful novel by a master storyteller.

Perera, Anna. Guantanamo Boy.

Innocent until proven guilty? Not here you’re not. Robbed of his childhood, this is one boy’s fictional experience of the supposed war on terror. Khalid, a fifteen-year-old Muslim boy from England, is abducted from Pakistan while on holiday with his family. He is taken to Guantanamo Bay and held without charge, where his hopes and dreams are crushed under the cruellest of circumstances. An innocent denied his freedom at a time when most boys are finding theirs, Khalid tries and fails to understand what’s happening to him.

Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Red Pencil, The.

Life in Amira’s peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when Janjaweed attackers arrive, unleashing unspeakable horrors. After losing nearly everything, Amira needs to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. She begins to lose hope, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind — and all kinds of possibilities.

Rauf, Onjali Q. Boy At the Back of the Class.

There used to be an empty chair at the back of Mrs. Khan’s classroom, but on the third Tuesday of the school year a new kid fills it: nine-year-old Ahmet, a Syrian refugee.

The whole class is curious about this new boy–he doesn’t seem to smile, and he doesn’t talk much. But after learning that Ahmet fled a Very Real War and was separated from his family along the way, a determined group of his classmates bands together to concoct the Greatest Idea in the World–a magnificent plan to reunite Ahmet with his loved ones.

This accessible, kid-friendly story about the refugee crisis highlights the community-changing potential of standing as an ally and reminds readers that everyone deserves a place to call home.

Robert, Na’ima B. Far From Home.

Will I ever see my home again? I do not know. Will I ever see my father again? I do not know. Will life ever be the same again? I do not know. Katie and Tariro are worlds apart but their lives are linked by a terrible secret, gradually revealed in this compelling and dramatic story of two girls grappling with the complexities of adolescence, family and a painful colonial legacy. 14-year-old Tariro loves her ancestral home, the baobab tree she was born beneath, her loving family – and brave, handsome Nhamo. She couldn’t be happier. But then the white settlers arrive, and everything changes – suddenly, violently, and tragically. Thirty-five years later, 14-year-old Katie loves her doting father, her exclusive boarding school, and her farm with its baobab tree in rural Zimbabwe. Life is great. Until disaster strikes, and the family are forced to leave everything and escape to cold, rainy London. Atmospheric, gripping and epic in scope, Far from Home brings the turbulent history of Zimbabwe to vivid, tangible life.

Ruelle, Karen Gray. Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Saved Jews During Holocaust.(PB)

Few Parisians were willing to risk their own lives to help. Yet during that perilous time, many Jews found refuge in an unlikely place–the sprawling complex of the Grand Mosque of Paris. Not just a place of worship but a community center, this hive of activity was an ideal temporary hiding place for escaped prisoners of war and Jews of all ages, especially children. 

Beautifully illustrated and thoroughly researched (both authors speak French and conducted first-person interviews and research at archives and libraries), this hopeful, non-fiction book introduces children to a little-known part of history. Perfect for children studying World War II or those seeking a heart-warming, inspiring read that highlights extraordinary heroism across faiths.

Ruurs, Margriet. Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey(PB)

Rama and her family, were forced to flee their once-peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama and her mother, father, grandfather and brother, Sami, set out to walk to freedom in Europe. Nizar Ali Badr’s stunning stone images illustrate the story.

Senzai, N.H. Escape from Aleppo.

Nadia stands at the center of attention in her parents’ elegant dining room. This is the best day of my life, she thinks. Everyone is about to sing “Happy Birthday,” when her uncle calls from the living room, “Baba, brothers, you need to see this.” Reluctantly, she follows her family into the other room. On TV, a reporter stands near an overturned vegetable cart on a dusty street.
Inspired by current events, this novel sheds light on the complicated situation in Syria that has led to an international refugee crisis, and tells the story of one girl’s journey to safety.

Senzai, N.H. Shooting Kabul.

In the summer of 2001, twelve year old Fadi’s parents make the difficult decision to illegally leave Afghanistan and move the family to the United States. When their underground transport arrives at the rendezvous point, chaos ensues, and Fadi is left dragging his younger sister Mariam through the crush of people. But Mariam accidentally lets go of his hand and becomes lost in the crowd, just as Fadi is snatched up into the truck. With Taliban soldiers closing in, the truck speeds away, leaving Mariam behind.

Adjusting to life in the United States isn’t easy for Fadi’s family and as the events of September 11th unfold the prospects of locating Mariam in a war torn Afghanistan seem slim. When a photography competition with a grand prize trip to India is announced, Fadi sees his chance to return to Afghanistan and find his sister. But can one photo really bring Mariam home? Based in part on the Ms. Senzai’s husband’s own experience fleeing his home in Soviet controlled Afghanistan in the 1970s, Shooting Kabul is a powerful story of hope, love, and perseverance.

St. John, Warren. Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team that Changed a Town.

Based on the adult bestseller, Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference, this young people’s edition is a complex and inspirational story about the Fugees, a youth soccer team made up of diverse refugees from around the world, and their formidable female coach, Luma Mufleh.

Luma Mufleh, a young Jordanian woman educated in the United States and working as a coach for private youth soccer teams in Atlanta, was out for a drive one day and ended up in Clarkston, Georgia, where she was amazed and delighted to see young boys, black and brown and white, some barefoot, playing soccer on every flat surface they could find. Luma decided to quit her job, move to Clarkston, and start a soccer team that would soon defy the odds. Despite challenges to locate a practice field, minimal funding for uniforms and equipment, and zero fans on the sidelines, the Fugees practiced hard and demonstrated a team spirit that drew admiration from referees and competitors alike.

Outcasts United explores how the community changed with the influx of refugees and how the dedication of Lumah Mufleh and the entire Fugees soccer team inspired an entire community. 

Ventura, Marne. Kunkush.

A true story of a cat that becomes separated from his family when they flee Iraq and become refugees in Europe. Their reunion brings tears to the coldest heart.

Warga, Jasmine. Other Words for Home.

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.

At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before.

But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

Wilkes, Sybella. Out of Iraq: Refugees’ Stories in Words, Paintings and Music.

Since 2006, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees have fled to other countries—particularly neighboring Syria and Jordan—where many of them are still waiting for the time when they feel it is safe to return home. This book provides, in words and pictures, what life was like in Iraq before they left, why they were forced to flee, and how they feel about life as a refugee.

Wolf, Bernard. Coming to America: A Muslim Family’s Story.

After four years of hard work and frugal living in New York, Hassan Mahmoud can afford to bring his family from Egypt to live with him. This close-knit family adapts to American life while staying true to their Muslim beliefs and Egyptian customs. Intimate and charming scenes of daily life are recounted — preparing family meals, visiting a mosque in Manhattan, discovering the joys of snow. Through captivating color photographs and engaging text, this thoughtful book helps young readers understand Muslims as individuals and families.

Yousafzai, Malala. Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights.

Malala’s memoir of a remarkable teenage girl who risked her life for the right to go to school is now abridged and adapted for chapter book readers. Raised in a changing Pakistan by an enlightened father from a poor background and a beautiful, illiterate mother, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. Her story of bravery and determination in the face of extremism is more timely than ever.

In this edition, Malala tells her story in clear, accessible language perfect for children who are too old for Malala’s Magic Pencil and too young for her middle-grade memoir. Featuring line art and simplified back matter, Malala teaches a new audience the value of speaking out against intolerance and hate: an inspiring message of hope in Malala’s own words.

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To see more book lists resources about refugees, please stop by 75 Refugee Movies to Enjoy on Thanksgiving, to create a project that helps refugees, please visit No Sew Travel Pillow {Tutorial}.

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