Literature for Young People

Islamic Traditions and Muslim Cultures

Kay E. Vandergrift

Children's Literature Page

“Obviously we can’t control all people in the world. But we can continue to remind ourselves of what is important and try to live in ways nourishing for human beings. It is most important to know about lives that seem, on the surface, unlike our own. We must remind ourselves and our children that the Middle East is a complicated center of dramatic cultural and religious history and the vast majority of people living there would love to be our friends.”

                                                                        ~~Naomi Shihab Nye

If we are to endure as human beings, we must learn as much as possible about others in our world. To that end, I have selected a beginning collection of books about Islamic traditions and Muslim culture for the very young, for older children, and for young adults, as well as those for parents and teachers. The stories, the poetry, the illustrations, the historical figures, and the folktales all contribute to that wonderful magic that transports readers to other places, other times, other worlds. Such reading can help young people integrate in their own lives the increased knowledge, deeper understanding, and a caring acceptance of others vital to all of humanity.

Ahsan, M.M. Muslim Festivals. Illustrated by M.M. Ahsan. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke Enterprises, 1987.

Bloom, Jonathan, and Sheila S. Blair. Islamic Arts. Art and Ideas. London: Phaidon Press, 1997.

Bloom, Jonathan and Sheila S. Blair. Islam : A Thousand Years of Faith and Power. New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2002.

Burns, Khephra. Mansa Musa. Illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon. San Francisco: Harcourt Brace, 2001.

Chalfonte, Jessica. I Am Muslim. New York : PowerKids Press, 1996.

Clark, Emma. Sinan: Architect of Istanbul. Illustrated by Emma Alcock. London: UK: Hood Hood Books,

Cohen, Barbara and Bahia Lovejoy. Seven Daughters and Seven Sons. New York: Atheneum, 1982.

Durkee, Noura. Animals of Paradise. Illustrated by Simon Trethewey.London, UK: Hood Hood Books, 1997.

Ellis, Deborah. The Breadwinner. Toronto, CA: Groundwood, 2000.

Esposito, John., Editor. The Oxford History of Islam. New York. Oxford University Press, 2000.

Ghazi, Suhaib Hamid. Ramadan. Illustrated by Omar Rayyan. New York: Holiday House, 1996.

Goodwin, Jan. Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World. New York: Plume, 1995.

Heide, Florence Parry and Judith Gilliland. The Day of Ahmed’s Secret. Illustrated by Ted Lewin. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1990.

Heide, Florence Parry and Judith Gilliland. The House of Wisdom. Illustrated by Mary Grandpre. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999.

Heide, Florence Parry and Judith Gilliland. Sami and the Time of the Troubles. Illustrated by Ted Lewin. New York: Clarion Books, 1992.

Husain, Shahrukh. What Do We Know about Islam? Illustrated by Celia Hart. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1995.

Islam: Empire of Faith: A Thousand Years of Faith and Power  [PBS Program]

Johnson-Davies, Denys. Rumi: Poet and Sage. Illustrated by Laura De La Mare. London, UK: Hood Hood Books, 1996.

Kessler, Cristina. One Night: A Story from the Desert. Illustrated  by Ian Schoenherr. New York: Philomel Books, 1995.

Khan, Rukhsana. The Roses in My Carpets. Illustrated by Ronald Himler. New York: Holiday House, 1998.

Kurtz, Jane. Pulling the Lion’s Tale. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Lewin, Ted. The Storytellers. Illustrated by Ted Lewin. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1998.

Lunde, Paul. Islam. London, UK: Dorling Kindersley, 2002.

McMane, Fred. Hakeem Olajawon. New York: Chelsea Books, 1999.

Maalouf, Amin and Jon Rothschild. The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. London, UK: Schocken Books, 1989.

MacDonald, Fiona. A 16th Century Mosque. Illustrated by Mark Bergin. New York : P. Bedrick Books, 1994.

Marshall, Julia. Suleiman the Magnificent: The Story of Istanbul. London: Hood Hood Books, 2002.

Matthews, Mary. Magid Fasts for Ramadan. Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. New York: Clarion Books, 1996.

Naff, Alixa. The Arab Americans. New York: Chelsea House, 1988.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2002.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. Habibi. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. Sitti’s Secrets. Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. The Flag of Childhood: Poems from the Middle East. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2002.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.

Oppenheim, Shulamith Levey. And the Earth Trembled : The Creation of Adam and Eve. Illustrated by Neil Waldman. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace, 1996.

Oppenheim, Shulamith Levey. The Hundredth Name. Illustrated by Michael Hays. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press, 1995.

Rumford, James. Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta, 1325-1354. Illustrated by James Rumford. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.

Rummel, Jack. Muhammad Ali. New York: Chelsea House, 1988.

Shah, Idries. The Boy Without a Name. Illustrated by Mona Caron. Cambridge, MA: Hoopoe Books,

The Three Princes: A Middle Eastern Tale. Retold by Eric A. Kimmel. Illustrated by Leonard Everett Fisher. New York: Holiday House, 1994.

Weiss-Armush, Anne Marie. Arabian Cuisine. Illustrated by John Berry. Beirut, Lebanon : Dar An-nafaés, 1984.

Wprmser, Richard. American Islam: Growing Up Muslim in America. New York: Walker & Co., 1994.

Zeman, Linda. Sindbad. Illustrated by Ludmila Zeman. Toronto, CA: Tundra Books, 1999.

Zhang, Song Nan, The Children of China. Illustrated by Song Nan Zhang. Plattsburgh, NY: Tundra Books of Northern New York, 1995.


Children's Literature Page

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