Special Compilation for High School Librarians

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Denotes a MEOC Award Winner


Figs and Fate
By Elsa Marston
A collection of short stories about teenagers growing up in the Arab world today.
A Little Peace of Ground
By Elizabeth Laird
Award-winning novel about a 12-year-old Palestinian boy and his efforts to find a place to play soccer.
By Naomi Shihab Nye
About a girl, Liyana, whose father decides to return to Palestine, a place that Liyana has never seen. Her friendship with Omer, a Jewish boy, helps her adjustment to a strange land, but the friendship is forbidden in a land torn by conflict.
A Hand Full of Stars
By Rafik Schami
About a Syrian teenager’s encounter with censorship. “If you tell the truth in Syria, you must pay with your life.” (grade 7 and up)
Pride of Baghdad
By Brian K. Vaughan
A graphic novel based on the true story of a group of lions that escaped from the Baghdad zoo during the American bombing in 2003. It asks questions about liberty, whether it can be given or must be earned, whether it is better to die free or live in captivity.

Non-Fiction Books:

Saddam Hussein
By Shiva Balaghi
A new biography, published in December 2005.

Tasting the Sky
By Itbisam Barakat
A beautifully written book about her childhood as a Palestinian refugee. Young people can relate to her vivid tale of youth, family relationships, and overcoming adversity.

Democracy in the Middle East
Series editor: John C. Davenport.
From The World in Focus series, the book offers a variety of views on the prospects for democracy in the Middle East and the U.S. role in promoting democratic developments.

The Illustrator’s Notebook
By Mohieddin Ellabbad
Award-winning autobiography (with photographs and drawings) of an Egyptian illustrator focusing on his art and how art is connected with his personal experience and the broader context of Egypt’s history. Low reading level.

Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak
By Debora Ellis
A collection of accounts of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by children ages 8-18.

Great Muslim Philosophers and Scientists in the Middle Ages
A series of six books, each on a different medieval Muslim scholar.

The New A-Z of the Middle East
By Alain Gresh and Dominique Vidal
A recently published (2004) encyclopedia of the Middle East.
Women in the Middle East: Tradition and Change
By Ramsay M. Harik and Elsa Marston
Easy to read with good (though black and white) photographs.
Iran: Opposing Viewpoints
Edited by Laura K. Egendorf.
A collection of articles offering many different perspectives on modern Iran. The book addresses such issues as whether Iran is a threat to global security, how the U.S. should respond to Iran, and the status of human rights. This book is wonderful to show students different sides of the same issue.
The main religious text of Muslims.
By Dale Lightfoot
One of the Modern World Issues series. The book gives an overview of Iraq’s geography, history, government, and economy. Colorful pictures and maps make it student-friendly.
Inside Story: A 16th Century Mosque
By Fiona MacDonald and Mark Bergin
Detailed illustrations and clear explanations make this a terrific resource book with information about the building, religious background, and history surrounding the construction of a mosque.
The African and Middle Eastern World, 600-1500
By Randall L.Pouwels
A history of medieval Africa and the Middle East with beautiful photographs and maps.
We Just Want to Live Here
By Amal Rifa’i and Odelia Ainbinder
A Palestinian and an Israeli teenager, who met in an exchange program overseas, write to each other about their lives and the tragic conflict in their country.
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and Persepolis II: The Story of a

By Marjane Satrapi
A two-volume memoir in graphic novel style that describes the author’s childhood during the Iranian Revolution, her schooling abroad during the Iran-Iraq War, and eventual return to her homeland. Grades: 9 – up.

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 Arab-Israeli Conflict
By Richard Worth
An Open for Debate book which shows the main issues for both Palestinians and Israelis. Grades 7 and up.
When I Was a Soldier
By Valerie Zenatti
Memoir of a teenage Israeli girl serving her required two years in the military.


The Flag of Childhood: Poems from the Middle East
By Naomi Shihab Nye
A collection of poems from Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Egypt, and other parts of the Middle East.
Nineteen Varieties of Gazelle
By Naomi Shihab Nye
A collection of poems by a Palestinian-American poet.
The Space Between Our Footsteps
By Naomi Shihab Nye
An anthology of over 100 poets and artists from 19 Middle Eastern countries.


Caught in the Crossfires (2002)
Arab-Americans in the U.S. and their struggle with prejudice after 9/11.
VHS format. 54 minutes.
Inside Mecca
A National Geographic special about the Muslim pilgrimage and its rituals.
60 minutes.

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