Every year Muslims around the world look forward to a special month, Ramadan. What better way to share your enthusiasm for Ramadan with your children than to read about this month.
There are quite a large number of books available on the market that present information about Ramadan; some as a story; others in a factual description. Some are written by Muslims; many are not. With the exception of a few, the majority of fiction books on the market that deal with Ramadan appear to be picture books. Though, you can find short stories for preteens and a very limited selection for teenagers.
Without much further ado, here are a few books you might enjoy sharing with your children and/or students:
[Note: While I have read some of the books listed here and can personally recommend them (these are marked by an * - my apologies but time does not permit me to post reviews), other books I recommend based on the author's other works, the publishers' reputation as well as my experience in the titles' appeal to children in the library where I worked.]
First up are those books that describe the eagerness of a Muslim child as a child embarks on his/her first fast. What is Ramadan? What would it be like? How does the child handle the fast? What happens when a child forgets and eats something? What’s Eid? Here are a few books that address these questions in easy-to-read and entertaining ways for children 8 years and under:
Welcome Ramadan by Lila Assiff-Tarabain (Goodword Books) – For ages 4 to 7.
* Hamza’s First Fast by Gauher and Asna Chaudhury (iPromote Media Inc.) – For ages 4 to 8.
* Ramadan Adventures of Fasfoose Mouse by Ediba Kezzeiz (American Trust Publications) – For ages 4 to 8
* First Fast (Amana Reading Series) by Uthman Hutchinson (Amana Publications) – For ages 5 – 7
A Party in Ramadan by Asma Mobin-Uddin (Boyd Mills) – For ages 5 to 8.
* Ramadan by Suhaib Hamid Ghazi (Holiday House) – For ages 4 to 8.
* Hurray! It’s Ramadan by Mennah I. Bakkar (Arab Scientific Publishers) – For ages 5 to 8.
Ramadan Moon Na’ima B. Robert (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books) – for ages 4 to 8.
But we also have these books, written for a wider reading market (mostly non-Muslims) that talk about Ramadan and are just as appealing. These would be good for presenting the concept of fasting to non-Muslim children in a public school for example:
My First Ramadan by Karen Katz (Henry Holt & Co.) – For ages 4 – 8.
Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman (Albert Whitman & Co.) – For ages 3 – 7.
To share the experience of what Ramadan in different cultures is like with your little ones, have a look at:
The White Nights of Ramadan Maha Addasi (Boyd Mills Press) – For ages 4 – 8.
For some ideas for activities to do with your children this Ramadan have a look at:
Ramadan Crafts for Kids by Dana Jadallah and Dana Amer (Aardvark Global Publishing Company, LLC). An instructional book in Arabic and English. For parents and teachers to use with children ages 5 to 12.
For preteens the following short stories/books may interest them:
* Imran Learns about Ramadan by Sajda Nazlee (Ta-Ha Publishers) – For ages 7 to 10.
* “Azeeza’s First Fast” a short story in the book Muslim Child by Rukhsana Khan (Albert Whitman & Company) – For ages 8 to 11.
Magid Fast for Ramadan by Mary Matthews (Houghton Mifflin Co.) – For ages 9 -12
Layla Deen and the Case of the Ramadan Rogue by Yahiya Emerick (IBTS) – For ages 9 – 12.
For young adults I’ve found very little. They are:
Boy vs. Girl by Na’ima B. Robert (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books) – For ages 13 and up.
Living Ramadan for Children Who Think by Elma Ruth Harder (Al-Qalam Publishing). A primer/activity-book that can be used by young people on their own as well as by teachers in the classroom. For ages 12 and up.
The Blessings of Ramadan by Javed Ali (Goodword Books) – A compilation of speeches about the significance of Ramadan for ages 12 and up.
[Note: For more information about a books, click on its title. Most titles can be found in your local bookstore (Islamic or general), library or online (via publisher or bookstore).]
I hope that from among the many books listed above you find something enjoyable and enlightening to share with your children/students.
May Allah grant you a beautiful and rewarding Ramadan.