Intermediate (Grades 3 - 5)

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Arab World Mosaic: A Curriculum Supplement for Elementary Teachers By Lars Rodseth, Sally Howell, Andrew Shryock
A book with a variety of lessons and activities involving literature, science (ecology and zoology), social studies, etc.

Country Themed Culture Kits
Each kit comes with artifacts and activities for teaching about a specific country.

Happy Nowruz: Cooking with Children to Celebrate the Persian New Year
By Najmieh Batmanglij
This cookbook/cultural description has beautiful color photographs, ideas for cooking projects with children, even a cookie cutter. It's a great resource for teaching about the Persian New Year holiday (March 21st), which is celebrated in several countries of western and central Asia.

The Islamic Year
By Noorah Al-Gailani and Chris Smith
A book of activities, crafts, and recipes that a teacher can do with children to help them understand the meaning behind Muslim holidays and traditions.

North Africa: Morocco
Stencil set of Moroccan designs with a map and explanations of Moroccan culture.

Virtual Field Trip to Turkey
By Kate Mahady
A presentation (on CD) that explores Turkey. This can be used by individual students or as a presentation for the whole class (with instructions for teachers provided).


Islamic Spain
By Rosalie F. Baker and Charles F. Baker
This book has articles for kids on the history of medieval Spain.

The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World
By Bryn Barnard
This is a wonderfully readable book about medieval acheivements in the Muslim world.  It is divided into short sections on topics such as paper, math, band music, etc.

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arabia
By Mary Beardwood
This detailed encyclopedia entry focuses on the geography, cultures, and, especially, the flora and fauna of the Arabian Peninsula.  With many photographs, charts, maps, figures, asides, this exhaustive and beautifully illustrated text will answer every question you never knew that you had about Arabia on subjects from pearling to fossils, migratory birds to the many uses of the date palm. The sheer breadth of information will eliminate the narrow geographic and social stereotypes so many students have about the Middle East.

By Douglas Charing
This book provides an introduction to Jewish beliefs and traditions.

Kings and Carpenters: One Hundred Bible Land jobs You Might Have Praised or Panned
By Laurie Coulter and Mary Newbigging
This is a great introduction to archeology and an overview of jobs that existed during biblical times

By Vedat Dalokay
This beautifully illustrated book describes the beliefs of the Muslim religion.

 Sister Shako and Kolo the Goat: Memories of My Childhood in Turkey
By Vedat Dalokay
The author writes of his childhood in eastern Turkey.

By DK Eyewitness Books
Discover the history, faith, and culture that have shaped the modern Jewish world. With over 50 million copies sold in 88 countries and in 36 languages, Eyewitness Books are truly the ultimate visual information encyclopedias for the 21st Century. Carrying on the tradition of integrating words and pictures, these three new titles in the Eyewitness series are timely editions to any library.

Neve Shalom Wahat Al-Salam: Oasis of Peace
By Laurie Dolphin
Despite its ponderous title, it is a good book with vivid photographs. It describes the lives of two ten-year-old boys living in a community in Israel in which Jews and Palestinians live together.

Customs of the Arabian Gulf: Drawings and Paintings by School Children in Bahrain and Dubai
By Bahia Fakhro and Ann Walcro
The book contains artwork by Arab children and descriptions of their content.

Iran: The People
By April Fast
This book describes and shows lifestyles in Iran.

Iraq: The Culture
By April Fast
This book describes and shows the culture of Iraq.

Iraq: The People
By April Fast
This book describes and shows lifestyles in Iraq.

By Suhaib Hamid Ghazi and Omar Rayyan
The book describes the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.

Celebrate Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr with Praying Fasting, and Charity (National Geographic, “Holidays Around the World” series)
By Deborah Heiligman
Although it is at a low reading level, this book vividly describes the customs and beliefs surrounding the Muslim month of fasting.

Celebrating Ramadan
By Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
Bright color photographs help tell the story of a 4th grade Muslim boy living in New Jersey as he celebrates Ramadan.

Muslim Child: Understanding Islam through Sotires and Poems
By Rukhsana Khan
A collection of Muslim stories with sidebars explaining important terms and issues.

A 16th Century Mosque
By Fiona MacDonald and Mark Bergin
This book describes medieval architecture, culture, and religion in the 16th century Ottoman Empire.

By David F. Marx
This book gives religious and historical information about the Jewish Passover holiday.

Foods of Iran
By Lawrence McKay Jr.
Beautiful photographs and clear prose show a lot about Iranian culture through a description of the food. There are recipes, cultural descriptions, and details about how the food is grown and sold.

Wonders of Persia
By Nazli Irani Monahan
The book describes the history of Iran from ancient times to the present.

Egypt: The Culture
By Arlene Muskovitch
This book describes and shows the culture of Egypt.

By Sue Penney
From the “Introducing Religions” series, this gives an overview of the Muslim faith.

By Sue Penney
Discover the rich cultural background behind this major world religion. Find out where Judaism originated, trace its history, and explore the meanings.

The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust
By Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix
When the Nazis occupied Paris, no Jew was safe from arrest and deportation. 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.

Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta, 1325-1354
By James Rumford
The true story of the travels of 14th century Arab explorer Ibn Battuta. Beautifully illustrated.

Foods of Iran
By Barbara Sheen
Beautiful photographs and clear prose show a lot about Iranian culture through a description of the food. There are recipes, cultural descriptions, and details about how the food is grown and sold.

The Travels of Benjamin of Tudela
By Uri Shulevits
This is an account of a Spanish Jew, who explored the Middle East and North Africa in the twelfth century (a century before Marco Polo). It's nicely illustrated and in the form of short stories, a book you could read aloud to the class.

Israel: The Culture
By Debbie Smith
This book describes and shows the culture of Israel.

Lands, Peoples, and Communities of the Middle East
By Juanita Will Soghikian and Penny Williams Yaqub
This is an introductory work-study text.

Alia's Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq
By Mark Alan Stamaty
A graphic novel telling the true story of a woman's struggle to save the books in the Basra library during the 2003 war in Iraq. It's a simple story, but the graphic novel style would appeal to some upper elementary and middle school readers.

Islamic Design: A Genius for Geometry
By Daud Sutton
Focusing on Islamic geometric patterns, simple and complex, man-made and in nature, this book offers unique insight into Islamic culture.

The Camel Family
By John Bonnett Wexo
A book about camels from the Zoo Book series.

The Librarian of Basra
By Jeanette Winter
This is the same story as Alia’s Mission (about the woman who saves the books in the Basra library), but this version is written at a simpler reading level that can be read aloud in class.

Seven Wonders of the Ancient Middle East
By Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods
A nicely illustrated book about the ancient Middle East. It provides history of the societies of the time.

The Tomb of King Tutankhamen: Unearthing Ancient Worlds
By Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods
Nicely illustrated and contains great photographs, this book gives a lot of history about King Tutankhamen as well as ancient Egypt in general.


The Butter Man
By Elizabeth Alalou and Ali Alalou
While Nora waits impatiently for dinner, her father stirs up a story from his childhood. During a famine Nora's grandfather must travel over the mountain to find work so he can provide food for his family. While young Ali waits for his father's return, he learns a lesson of patience, perseverance, and hope. Fold-art illustrations capture the Moroccan culture and landscape.

Nasreddin Hodja
By Mehmet Ali Birant
This is a collection of short (often humorous) anecdotes about an early 13th century Turkish figure. It’s as interesting for its beautiful Ottomanstyle illustrations as for the stories.  (Note: Nasreddin Hodja is called Goha in the Arab world and Mullah Nasreddin in the Persian world.  The stories are beloved classics in the entire region.)

Amina and Muhammad's Special Visitor
By Diane Turnage Burgoyne and Penny Williams Yaqub
This children's book describes family life in Saudi Arabia.  It also includes background information for teachers. 

A Stone in My Hand
By Cathryn Clinton
An 11-year-old Palestinian girl has to deal with her father's disappearance in Israel and her 12-year-old brother's desire for revenge.

Tales Told in Tents
By Sally Pomme Clayton and Sophie Herxheimer
This is a collection of short stories from Central Asia.

Extra Credit
By Andrew Clements
Abby Carson, a bright but unmotivated student, is about to be left behind in the sixth grade.  To avoid this fate, she agrees to an extra credit assignment involving writing to a pen pal in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

The Hungry Coat: A Tale from Turkey
By Demi
 A man is judged by his appearance.

Tales from Ancient Egypt
By George Hart
This is a short, nicely illustrated book of ancient Egyptian folk tales.

The House of Wisdom
By Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland
 This is a beautifully illustrated story of a boy’s life in 9th century Baghdad.

Sami and the Time of the Troubles
By Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland
 This haunting and beautifully illustrated story tells of a 10-year-old boy during the fighting in Beirut, Lebanon.

Lugalbanda, The Boy Who Got Caught Up in a War
By Kathy Henderson
 This book retellis a five thousand-year-old story from ancient Sumer (now Iraq). T

Folk Tales of Egypt
By Denys Johnson-Davies and Tarek Mossad
This is a book of folk tales from Egypt.

By Denys Johnson-Davies
This is a brief, illustrated book of Arab folk tales.  (Note: Goha is called Nasreddin Hodja in the Turkish world.  The stories are beloved classics in the entire region.)

Goha, the Wise Fool
By Denys Johnson-Davies and Hag Hamdy Hany
This is a brief, illustrated book of Arab folk tales.  (Note: Goha is called Nasreddin Hodja in the Turkish world.  The stories are beloved classics in the entire region.)

The Most Magnificent Mosque
By Anne Jungman and Shelley Fowles 
A beautifully illustrated book about medieval Spain and its Muslim heritage.

The Storytellers
By Ted Lewin
The book, set in Morocco, introduces us to Abdul and his grandfather, a storyteller.

Magid Fasts for Ramadan
By Mary Mathews
About an 8-year-old Egyptian boy who wants to fast like the grown-ups during the Muslim month of Ramadan.

The Best Eid Ever
By Asma Mobin-Uddin
A girl tries to enjoy celebrating an important Muslim holiday despite the fact that her parents are away.  She meets up with two refugee girls and discovers the joy of giving.

The Hundredth Name
By Shulamith Levey Oppenheim and Michael Hays
This nicely illustrated story tells of friendship and Muslim faith set in a village in Egypt. 

Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad
By James Rumford
When bombs begam to fall, Ali drowns out the sould of war with a pen. Like other children living in Baghdad, Ali loves soccer, music and dancing, but most of all, he loves the ancient art of calligraphy. When bombs begin to fall on his city, Ali turns to his pen, writing sweeping and gliding words to the silent music that drowns out the war all around him. Gorgeously illustrated with collage, pencil and charcoal drawings and, of course, exquisite calligraphy, this timely and yet universal story celebrates art and history but also offers young children a way to understand all they see and hear on the news.

Abuelita's Secret Matzahs
By Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
A boy learns the truth about why his family does things differently from his friends when he discovers that he is of Jewish heritage. He learnes the history of how his family escaped from Spain to the "new world" and keep their identity hidden. This book is about heritage and acceptance of who you are.

Zeynep, the Seagull of Galata Tower
By Julia Townsend
This book offers a birds-eye view (LITERALLY) of Istanbul.

Watermelons, Walnuts and the Wisdom of Allah and Other Tales of the

By Barbara Walker
This book is collection of Turkish tales about the legendary Nasreddin Hoca (called Goha in Arabic). The book has short, humorous stories with illustrations.

Four Feet, Two Sandals
By Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed
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.As the girls go about their routines -- washing clothes in the river, waiting in long lines for water, and watching for their names to appear on the list to go to America -- the sandals remind them that friendship is what is most important. Four Feet, Two Sandals was inspired by a refugee girl who asked the authors why there were no books about children like her. With warm colors and sensitive brush strokes, this book portrays the strength, courage, and hope of refugees around the world, whose daily existence is marked by uncertainty and fear.


Fables of Bah ya Bah (2001)
Animated retelling of six different short fables from the Middle East.
VHS format. 60 minutes.

Just say Hic
Turkish folktale with discussion questions.
VHS format. 9 minutes.


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