2020 Arab Muslim Children Books {Resource}

Welcome 2020 and all these stunning children books by Arab and/or Muslim authors, or about Arab and/or Muslim kids, to enjoy!

Now that January has arrived, it means that Multicultural Children’s Book Day is right around the corner.

I am so excited to be co-Hosting another year and will be sharing a review of a book about a Palestinian little girl on January 31st, 2020.

To recap, I was sent a Persian book in 2017, and a Sudanese book in 2018, both great additions to diverse kidlit book shelves around the world. I was fortune enough to receive three books for my 2019 Multicultural Children’s Book Day reviews, which can be found here, here and here.

As I await by my mailbox for this year’s special delivery, I thought I’d compile a list of 20+ upcoming PB (picture books), MG (middle grade) and YA (young adult) books coming out of the Arab & Muslim diaspora in 2020. I will updated them with links to buy as they are available.

Please visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to check out the Arab & Muslim children books board. Also, be sure to visit the educational resource page.

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Silverwood by Diana Abu-Jaber

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed

Once Upon an Eid by SK Ali and Aisha Saeed

Santuary by Marina Budhos

The Empire Of Gold By S.A. Chakraborty

Farah Rocks Fifth Grade by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Boy, Everywhere by A.M. Dassu

We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya) by Hafsah Faizal         

Yasmin the Friend by Saadia Faruqi

Yasmin the Gardener by Saadia Faruqi

Yasmin the Soccer Star by Saadia Faruqi

Yasmin the Writer by Saadia Faruqi

Alya and the Three Cats by Amina Hachimi Alaoui

Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story by Aya Khali

Like the Moon Loves the Sky by Hena Khan

Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabrina Khan

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram

No True Believers by Rabiah York Lumbard

More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood

Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri

I Went for Hajj by Na’ima B. Robert

Yes No Maybe So by Aisha Saeed and Becky Albertalli

Hafsa’s Kisses by Tayyaba Syed

Noor Inayat Khan (Choose Your Own Adventure Spies) by Rana Tahir

Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Satoko and Nada Vol. 3 by Yupechika

Satoko and Nada Vol. 4 by Yupechika

2020 Arab & Muslim Adult
Book Releases

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar

The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah

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Please bookmark this page for updates. On January 1, 2019 I compiled a book list that was 20+ books but when December 31, 2019 had arrived, the list had close to 90 books.

To see more books lists for children & teens that teach about the Arab world or Muslim culture, visit the education page, that has hundreds like these

9 Books to Celebrate Arab American Heritage Month {Resource}

27 Teen Books and Graphic Novels with a Muslimah Protagonist {Resource}

Be sure to stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more.

Refugee Popup Bookstore {Resource}

This weekend, I am opening a refugee pop-up bookstore, SCM Souk, to help a local Seattle nonprofit humanitarian organization acquire more income to run its programs.

Souk /سوق is the Arabic word for store, originally started as an idea to provide the Salaam Cultural Museum with a way to support refugees.

Salaam Cultural Museum (SCM) is a charitable non-profit organization originally formed in February 1996 to gather and publish information on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and to promote understanding of the people, cultures, languages, religions, and lands of this region. For the last several years they have been collecting and distributing humanitarian aid and coordinating SCM Medical Missions to the region.

SCM Medical Missions not only sends doctors, nurses and humanitarian relief to the Zaatari Refugee Camp, the second largest in the world, but it also sends medical equipment, clothing, menstrual pads, shoes, quilts, school supplies and sports equipment. All these are proved free of charge to refugees.

I got involved with SCM Medical Missions when I found out that 100% of all the money donated goes to these programs. They have zero overhead, zero staff salaries, zero administration fees. Everything is volunteer and their accounting books are open for anyone to look over. They have grant writers to help find funds to cover operating costs and donors that cover the fees for the containers SCM fills with donated items.

A few months ago, one of the SCM board members offered space in Bellevue, Washington, across the street from Bellevue Park, to sell a few items, such as books and jewelry made by the refugee women in the SCM run educational and sewing training centers.

I offered to help get the souk started, since I had already helped set up a similar retail space for them in Seattle. For the past month, my family and I have been painting, building, and cleaning a 200 foot room to turn it into a second souk for SCM.

My daughters have given up their past weekends to helping paint. All the paint was donated.

Meanwhile, my husband built a custom cover for the pipes that were exposed. All the wood, nails and drywall were also donated.

We will be selling the beautiful handmade jewelry, along with traditional embroidered dresses and children’s literature that focus on refugees, diversity and marginalized people. I have been contacting publishers & authors to fill the shelves with diverse books. I decorated the souk’s front doors with the types of books I was searching for, while the mess was going on inside..

We will have the space for five weeks, but plan to take full advantage of it by celebrating Women’s History Month with activities each Saturday.

We will begin with a story time reading of a book, then followed by a free craft to take home.

Please help SCM Souk grow by liking the Facebook page. It will help you keep track of where we will be next month.


#IqraChat The Map of Salt and Stars {Resource}

Reading Arab American literature is an important part of my life, as it helps expand my knowledge of my culture and history.

I recently read the book The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn (Jennifer Zeynab) Joukhadar to help me better understand the Syrian refugee experience.

This book moved me in ways that no book has done in a long time.

  • First, the journey involves not one but two young female protagonist, fighting odds well beyond their years.
  • Second, the chapters, for each country entered, include poems by the author that are beautiful and could stand on their own in a chapbook. I found myself reading them over and over again, often out loud.
  • Third, the assault scene was difficult to read, but I don’t believe our society discusses it in the open enough. Reading it brought back painful memories but opened up dialogue that was long overdue with my own teens.

I contacted the author and asked him if I could do a Twitter and Facebook chat online to discuss the book with others. A sort of book club, but not just in my living room or at a local restaurant, but one that anyone that wants to can join in.

Between now and February 26th, read or listen to the book, then join us on ACraftyArab Facebook or ACraftyArab Twitter where you’ll answer the following questions in time sessions (subject to adjustment):

  1. 8PM: What does the title The Map of Salt and Stars mean to you?
  2. 8:10PM: How do the two different timelines influence the plot?
  3. 8:20PM: Did having Nour as the narrator change the way you viewed the events of the novel?
  4. 8:30PM: How do the characters rely on their religion throughout the novel?
  5. 8:40PM: How is The Map of Salt and Stars like or different than other novels you have read about refugees?
  6. 8:50PM: What is the significance of the stone and why was it discarded by Nour?

To help find each other on Twitter and Facebook, we’ll all be using the hashtag #IqraChat and ##MapofSaltandStars. (Iqra is the Arabic word for Read.)

Please be sure to join us on February 26th at 8pm EST to talk about this riveting book.