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A Sweet Meeting on Mimouna Night

2020

by Allison Ofanansky and Rotem Teplow

"A story about a young girl celebrating the Moroccan Jewish holiday of Mimouna with a new Muslim friend. It’s Mimouna — the Moroccan Jewish holiday that marks the end of Passover, and when blessings are given for a year of prosperity and good luck. Miriam wants to help her mother make the sweet moufleta pancakes they always eat at their Mimouna party, but after not eating doughy treats for the week of Passover, they don’t have any flour in the house! So, Miriam’s mother takes her to visit their Muslim neighbors, who share their flour. The women drink tea together, and Miriam makes friends with a young girl named Jasmine. Miriam almost drops the bag of flour when she and Jasmine go to fetch it from the storeroom — but luckily Jasmine is there to catch it! Jasmine and her family then join Miriam’s family and friends to celebrate Mimouna. This sweet story of friendship and shared customs will introduce North American readers to the Mimouna holiday. The book concludes with an author’s note and a recipe for making moufleta, the sweet, paper-thin pancakes featured in the story, so that readers can enjoy, too." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Cross Group

The Homesick Club

2020

by Libby Martinez and Rebecca Gibbon

"When new teacher, Miss Shelby, arrives from Texas, students Mónica and Hannah invite her to join their homesick club where they find ways to make a new place feel like home. Mónica and Hannah are school kids in the big city. Together, they have formed the Homesick Club, since they are both from far away. Mónica misses the family of hummingbirds that she and her grandmother would feed in her backyard in Bolivia every day. Hannah misses the sunshine and the tiny tortoise that lived near her house in Israel. When a new teacher, Miss Shelby, arrives from Texas, the girls discover that she misses her home, too, especially the huge sky full of stars and a Southern treat known as Hummingbird Cake. The girls ask Miss Shelby to join their club, then Mónica decides she will bring a surprise for show and tell — a surprise that brings Miss Shelby close to tears. Author Libby Martinez addresses a theme that many children can relate to — feeling homesick — especially when home is far away. Rebecca Gibbon’s charming illustrations bring an imaginative, light touch to the story." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

Brave with beauty

2019

by Maxine Rose Schur

This is the extraordinary story of Queen Goharshad, a 15th-century monarch, who many historians now believe was the one of the most powerful women in world history. Ruling from the Timurid artistic and cultural center of Herat in western Afghanistan, Queen Goharshad ushered in a remarkable period when poetry, music, calligraphy, painting, and the sciences flourished as never before. A poet and an architect, she designed some of the most beautiful structures ever built on earth. --publisher

Biography

My brother and me

2019

by Taghrīd ʻĀrif Najjār and Maya Fidawi

Aloush is the youngest in the family. He is not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. His big brother Ramez is his idol. Every day, Ramez drives Aloush to school on his way to work. He takes him to basketball practice, allows him to hang around when his friends come over to watch a football game and always has time to drop him off at the mall to see a movie with his friend. But suddenly, Ramez doesn't have time for Aloush anymore. He has fallen in love and is about to get engaged! Aloush is upset and tries to get rid of this threat by carrying out a series of pranks. Will Aloush succeed in getting his brother back?

Any Child

The Ghoul

2019

by Taghreed Najjar and Hassan Manasra

"A story about facing your fears and accepting differences, inspired by Arabic folk tales. The villagers are afraid of the "Ghoul." For years, they've tiptoed around the village for fear of disturbing it. The monster doesn't look like them, and it is believed to eat humans. One day, the brave Hassan embarks on a dangerous mission to face the long-feared Ghoul. When Hassan finally meets the Ghoul living on top of the mountain, he discovers that the Ghoul is just as terrified of people as they are of him. Hassan and the Ghoul realize that they can still be friends, despite their differences. A beautifully illustrated story that can be used as a springboard to discuss how we perceive those who are different and how our fears and prejudices may be built on false assumptions." -- publisher

Folklore

The Voyage

2019

by Robert Vescio and Andrea Edmonds

"The Voyage is the powerful story of a family fleeing their war-torn country and making a dangerous trip across the ocean to a new life in a new land. Displaced by war and conflict, a refugee family sets out on a voyage into the unknown. Told in only a few words (one word per page) this is the powerful story of a family fleeing their war-torn country and making a dangerous trip across the ocean to a new life in a new land. ‘Chaos’ begins the story, as the family escapes. ‘Wild’ is the midway point, as the small boat battles through a storm. ‘Companion’ marks the sighting of a whale that briefly keeps them company as their voyage continues. ‘Beauty’ is the sight of a green, beautiful land ahead of them. ‘Safe’ is the beginning of their new life in their new home. Simple, yet evocative, The Voyage gives new meaning to the phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words," as Robert Vescio’s sparse text and Andrea Edmond’s beautiful illustrations encourage young readers to create their own background story and thus identify more deeply with the plight of refugees and those less fortunate." -- publisher

Oppression & Resilience

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