100 Children’s & YA Books with Muslim Characters

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Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters


Presenting our extensive list of children’s and YA book with Muslim Characters! There are books for all ages–from babies to teenagers– covering a wide range of countries from the U.S., Asian and Arab countries, Northern African countries and even one book about a Hispanic Muslim family. We carefully chose the books on this list to ensure we only add those that feature strong, non-stereotypical main characters. Enjoy browsing!

100 Children’s & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Babies & Toddlers

My First Ramadan
by Karen Katz

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: My First Ramadan

“Look! There is the new moon in the sky.” An adorable little Muslim boy is excited that Ramadan is about to begin. This year he wants to fast like the grown-ups! With simple words and colourful illustrations, My First Ramadan is a wonderful first introduction to Ramadan for the youngest readers. ~ Asian – Babies & Toddlers

Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets
by Hena Khan

From a crescent moon to a square garden to an octagonal fountain, this breathtaking picture book for toddlers celebrates the shapes of the Muslim world. Equally at home in a classroom reading circle and on a parent’s lap being read to a child, Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets inspires questions and observations about Muslim religion and culture. ~ Asian – Babies & Toddlers

The Blessed Pomegranates: A Ramadan Story About Giving
by A. Helwa

Two little Muslims, Alyah and Adam go on an adventure with their grandmother Essi on a special Ramadan night. Through giving pomegranates from Grandmother Essi’s tree to their family and friends, Adam and Alyah learn about Ramadan, the Qur’an, and the importance of generosity and sharing your blessings with others. With colourful illustrations alongside an engaging story, The Blessed Pomegranates, is a poetic Ramadan book for the youngest readers. ~ Asian – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents






That’s Not My Name!
by Anoosha Syed

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Mirha is excited for her first day of school. But when her classmates mispronounce her name, she goes home wondering if she should find a new one. Maybe then she’d be able to find a monogrammed keychain at the gas station or order a hot chocolate at the café more easily. But Mama helps Mirha to see how special her name is, and she returns to school the next day determined to help her classmates say it correctly–even if it takes a hundred tries. That’s Not My Name is an empowering picture book about loving your name, and standing up for yourself. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 15 Children’s Books set in Pakistan

Mama Shamsi at the Bazaar
by M. Hassani & S. Iravani

Samira loves spending time with her grandmother, and she especially loves her chador, which Mama Shamsi wraps around herself every time they leave the house for the market. But Samira is worried about getting lost in the crowded streets of Tehran, until she has an idea: She can hide under her grandmother’s chador. Mama Shamsi says if Samira hides under there, the pair of them will look like a strange animal! In imaginary spreads, Samira and Mama Shamsi turn into a donkey, a giraffe, a kangaroo, a turtle—hiding isn’t working at all. But maybe there’s some other way for Samira to stay safe with her grandma in the crowded market. Mama Shamsi at the Bazaar is a sweet and silly picture book set in Iran. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 10 Laugh-Out-Loud Funny Multicultural Picture Books

Where Butterflies Fill the Sky: A Story of Immigration, Family, and Finding Home
by Zahra Marwan

Zahra lives in a beautiful place where the desert reaches all the way to the sea and one hundred butterflies always fill the sky. When Baba and Mama tell her that their family is no longer welcome here and they must leave, Zahra wonders if she will ever feel at home again–and what about the people she will leave behind? But when she and her family arrive in a new desert, she’s surprised to find magic all around her. Home might not be as far away as she thought it would be. With spare, moving text and vivid artwork, Where Butterflies Fill the Sky is an evocative picture book debut that tells the true story of the author’s immigration from Kuwait to the United States. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration

Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey
by Doug Kuntz

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Lost and Found Cat

When an Iraqi family is forced to flee their home, they secretly take their beloved cat, Kunkush, with them. When they lose him in Greece, his family has to continue their journey, leaving broken-hearted. Greek aid workers find the cat later and mobilise a worldwide community on the internet and in the news media to find his family. Incredibly, they do find them and are able to reunite them with Kunkush. Lost and Found Cat is a remarkable and touching true story about kindness, empathy, community and hope. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about the Power of Community

Mommy’s Khimar
by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Mommy's Khimar

“A khimar is a flowing scarf that my mommy wears. / Before she walks out the door each day, she wraps one around her head.” A young Muslim girl plays dress up with her mother’s colourful headscarves, feeling her mother’s love all along. Vibrantly illustrated, Mommy’s Khimar is a charming picture book that promotes diversity and tolerance. ~ Diverse -Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Mothers

A Moon for Moe and Mo
by Jane Breskin Zalben

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: A Moon For Moe and Mo

Jewish boy Moses Feldman (“Moe”) and Muslim boy Mohammed Hassan (“Mo”) live on the opposite ends of Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. One day at Sahadi’s market they are mistaken for brothers and become friends. When Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, overlaps with the Muslim holiday of Ramadan–an occurrence that happens only once every thirty years or so–, the boys bring their families together to share rugelach and date cookies in the park as they make a wish for peace. Award-winning A Moon for Moe and Mo is a beautifully illustrated picture book about friendship and tolerance. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Friendship

A New Friend: One Book, Two Stories
by Lucy Menzies

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

It’s Joe’s first day at a new school. It’s big, scary and different. He misses his school, his old friends and his old life. Can’t he just go back to the way things were? When Mae hears that there’s a new kid starting school, she can’t wait to meet him. Is this her chance to make a true friend? A New Friend is a heartwarming and uplifting story of a new friendship in this innovative title, comprised of two books telling two different perspectives of the story of Joe and Mae. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 80 Multicultural Children’s Books about School

The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story
by Aya Khalil

Kanzi’s family has moved from Egypt to America, and on her first day in a new school, what she wants more than anything is to fit in. Maybe that’s why she forgets to take the kofta sandwich her mother has made for her lunch, but that backfires when Mama shows up at school with the sandwich. Mama wears a hijab and calls her daughter Habibti (dear one). When she leaves, the teasing starts. That night, Kanzi wraps herself in the beautiful Arabic quilt her teita (grandma) in Cairo gave her and writes a poem in Arabic about the quilt. Next day her teacher sees the poem and gets the entire class excited about creating a “quilt” (a paper collage) of student names in Arabic. The Arabic Quilt is an authentic story with beautiful illustrations, a glossary of Arabic words and a presentation of Arabic letters with their phonetic English equivalents. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration

Lubna and Pebble
by Wendy Meddour

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Living in a refugee camp, little Lubna’s best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories and always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does. Emotionally stirring and stunningly illustrated, Lubna and Pebble explores one girl’s powerful act of friendship in the midst of utter uncertainty. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration

The Great Labne Trade
by Eman Saleh

Ahmed was reluctant to pack labne sandwiches for lunch. He didn’t want to stand out. With the help of his mother, he learns to embrace his Arab heritage by spreading his love of labne sandwiches with the world. But what happens when the rest of the school gets a taste of this delicious spread? Chaos ensues in the cafeteria and Ahmed learns his first lessons in business… The Great Labne Trade is a dynamic picture book with an adorable main character. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 20 Children’s Books set in the Middle East & Northern Africa

Under My Hijab
by Hena Khan

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Grandma wears it clasped under her chin. Aunty pins hers up with a beautiful brooch. Jenna puts it under a sun hat when she hikes. Zara styles hers to match her outfit. As a young girl observes six very different women in her life who each wear the hijab in a unique way, she also dreams of the rich possibilities of her own future, and how she will express her own personality through her hijab. Written in sprightly rhyme, Under My Hijab honors the diverse lives of contemporary Muslim women and girls, their love for each other, and their pride in their culture and faith. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family
by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

It’s the first day of school and also Faiza’s older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab — a beautiful blue hijab, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong. Written by Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, vibrantly illustrated The Proudest Blue is an uplifting story of being proud of who you are and the unbreakable bond between siblings. ~ African – Elementary School

The Kindest Red: A Story of Hijab and Friendship
by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Faizah can’t wait to wear her special red dress for picture day, passed down from her mother and sister. Faizah’s teacher asks students to envision the kind of world they want, inspiring Faizah and her friends to spend the day helping one another in ways large and small. But when it’s time for sibling pictures, Faizah realizes that she and her older sister, Asiya, don’t match like her classmates do with their siblings. With help from her classmates inspired by Asiya’s hijab, Faizah finds that acts of kindness can come back to you in unexpected ways. Sequel of acclaimed The Proudest Blue, The Kindest Red is a heartfelt exploration of friendship, faith, and the joy of spreading kindness wherever you go. ~ African – Elementary School

Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter
by Mark Gonzalez

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Yo Soy Muslim

“Dear little one, /…know you are wondrous. / A child of crescent moons, / a builder of mosques, / a descendant of brilliance,/ an ancestor in training.” Written as a poetic letter from a father to his daughter accompanied by magical and vibrant illustrations, Yo Soy Muslim is a touching celebration of diversity and social harmony. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 21 Children’s Books about Ramadan and Eid

Mommy Sayang
by Rosana Sullivan

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Little Aleeya loves to ask her mum if she will always be by her side, and Mommy always assures her that she will, Insh’Allah. But one day, Mommy becomes sick and Aleeya realizes she can always be by Mommy’s side. With a hibiscus flower in hand, Aleeya goes to Mommy’s bedside to bring her love and hope. Set in Malaysia, Mommy Sayang is a touching story about the strong bond between a mother and her daughter. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Mothers

My Father’s Shop
by Satomi Ichikawa

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: My Father's Shop

Mustafa loves a particular rug in his father’s shop. It has a hole, so he can put it over his head and still see out. When his father tries to teach his son some foreign languages, Mustafa runs off to the bustling Moroccan market (with his favourite rug on his head). There he finds a different way of learning languages – and of getting tourists to his father’s shop.  My Father’s Shop has a sweet storyline and vibrant watercolour illustrations.  ~ African – Preschool

Related: 70+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Fathers

In the Meadow of Fantasies
by Mohammad Hadi Mohammadi

A young girl with a physical handicap gazes up at a mobile of spinning horses from her little pink bed. As she watches them prance about, the tufted snout of a real live horse peeks through her bedroom door. Soon enough, the bright protagonist is cantering on an adventure with seven majestic horses. The first six are easily understood: their colours, dreams, families, and origins. The seventh horse, however, is an enigmatic creature with no clear hue or history, a lack that is soon filled in by the loving offerings of the other ponies. A story about dreaming and caring for others, award-winning In the Meadow of Fantasies will remind young readers of their own reveries and conjure new fantasies of friendly creatures in far off lands. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 2022 ALA Award-Winning Multicultural Children’s & YA Books

Leila in Saffron
by Rukhsanna Guidroz

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Sometimes I’m not sure if I like being me.” When Leila looks in the mirror, she doesn’t know if she likes what she sees. But when her grandmother tells her the saffron beads on her scarf suit her, she feels a tiny bit better. So, Leila spends the rest of their family dinner night on the lookout for other parts of her she does like. Vibrantly illustrated Leila In Saffron takes young readers on a colourful journey of self-discovery and identity. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books To Help Build Self-Esteem

In My Mosque
by M. O. Yuksel

No matter who you are or where you’re from, everyone is welcome here. From grandmothers reading lines of the Qur’an and the imam telling stories of living as one, to meeting new friends and learning to help others, mosques are centers for friendship, community, and love. In My Mosque celebrates the joys and traditions found in every mosque around the world Includes author’s note, glossary, and information about significant mosques around the world. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 33 Children’s Books about Ramadan and Eid

Like the Moon Loves the Sky
by Hena Khan

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

“Inshallah you find wonder in birds as they fly. Inshallah you are loved, like the moon loves the sky.” With vibrant illustrations and prose inspired by the Quran, Like The Moon Loves The Sky is a lyrical and heartfelt celebration of a parent’s unconditional love for their children. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 14 Multicultural Children’s Books about Mothers





Elementary School

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq
by Jeanette Winter

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: The Librarian of Basra

“In the Koran, the first thing God said to Muhammad was ‘Read.’” When war comes to Iraq, librarian Alia Muhammad Baker takes matters into her own hands to protect the books from being destroyed. Every day she packs her car with books and takes them home, thus saving 70% of the 30,000 books in her library. The Librarian of Basra is a true story about an inspiring woman’s love of literature and respect for knowledge.  ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 28 Multicultural Children’s Books Celebrating Books & Reading

Sitti’s Bird: A Gaza Story
by Malak Mattar

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Malak is a little girl who lives in Gaza with her parents. She goes to school, plays in the ocean, and visits Sitti’s house on Fridays. One day while she is in school, bombings begin. She spends the next 50 days at home with her parents worrying and feeling scared, until one day she picks up her paintbrush… Written and illustrated by Palestinian artist Malak Mattar, Sitti’s Bird is a sensitive and heart warming story of how a little girl in Gaza finds strength and hope through painting. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 20 Children’s Books set in the Middle East & Northern Africa

My Two Blankets
by Irena Kobald

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: My Two Blankets

Moving from Sudan to Australia with her aunt, everything feels strange for Cartwheel in the new country: the food, the people, the animals, and even the wind. An old blanket gives Cartwheel comfort, until she makes a new friend who helps her learn new words every day and makes her feel more and more at home. My Two Blankets is a heart-warming story of the difficulties of immigration and the power of friendship. ~ African – Elementary School

This is Why We Pray: A Story About Islam, Salah, and Dua
by A. Muhammad-Diggins & A. Jaleel 

Join Aliya and Amar as their Mama and Papa tell them all about the Five Pillars of Islam—especially salah. One of the most engaging Islamic books for kids, This Is Why We Pray teaches children what it means to pray, how it helps them grow closer to Allah, and hear awesome stories from the Quran that teach even more about the importance of salah. ~ Asian – Elementary School

The Red Lollipop
by Rukhsana Khan

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Big Red Lollipop

When Rubina comes home with her first birthday-party invitation, her mother asks why people in the US celebrate birthdays, as in Pakistan they do not. Rubina has to take her little sister along despite her insistence that “they don’t do that here.”  Not only does little Sana demand to win every game, but she also steals Rubina’s prized party favour. Big Red Lollipop is a fresh picture book with a clever storyline and irresistible illustrations. ~ Asian – Elementary School

One Wish: Fatima al-Fihri and the World’s Oldest University
by M. O. Yuksel

Fatima al-Fihri loved to learn. She wanted to know everything, like how birds flew, why the sky was blue, and how flowers grew. But more than anything, she wanted a school for all, where anyone could study and become whatever they wanted, like teachers, scientists, and doctors. As she grew older, Fatima carried her one wish inside her, through good times and bad. Fueled by her faith and her determination, she worked hard to make her one wish come true. For over a thousand years, Fatima’s school served students and scholars from around the globe, and it continues to do so today. With lyrical text and stunning illustrations, One Wish is a true-life portrait of an extraordinary Muslim woman that shows the importance of never giving up on your dreams and how we all have the power to change the world for the better. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 55 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models

Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine
by Hannah Moushabeck

As bedtime approaches, three young girls eagerly await the return of their father who tells them stories of a faraway homeland—Palestine. Through their father’s memories, the Old City of Jerusalem comes to life: the sounds of juice vendors beating rhythms with brass cups, the smell of argileh drifting through windows, and the sight of doves flapping their wings toward home. These daughters of the diaspora feel love for a place they have never been, a home they cannot visit. But, as their father’s story comes to an end, they know that through his memories, they will always return. Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine is a moving love letter to home, to family, and to the persisting hope of people that transcends borders. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Yasmin the Librarian
by Saadi Faruqi

It is library day and helper Yasmin is busy shelving books, but suddenly she discovers that her own special book is missing prompting her to calmly retrace her steps. Part of a delightful early chapter book series about a Pakistani American girl and her multi-generational family, Yasmin The Librarian subtly weaves Muslim traditions into a fun, relatable story about books and reading. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Give It a Try, Yasmin!
by Saadia Faruqi

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Give It A Try, Yasmin! is a fun collection of four new stories about Yasmin, a spirited second grader who tackles every challenge with her head and her heart! Whether she’s helping to solve a recycling problem at school, trying to avoid a science fair fiasco, searching for a favorite lost book, or gathering her courage to join in the fun, Yasmin is always willing to give it a try! The escapades of Yasmin along with her multi-generational Pakistani-American family will delight and inspire early readers. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Also available: Yasmin Boxed Set

Yasmin the Superhero
by Saadia Faruqi

Multicultural Children's Books featuring Superheroes

Pakistani-American Yasmin is ready to be a Superhero! She’s got the cape. She’s got the mask. Now she just needs a villain to defeat! On her search for a villain, she meets lots of lovely people and realizes that she might not need a villain to wield her superpowers. Yasmin The Superhero is a sweet and fun superhero story for early readers  ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Children’s Books featuring Superheroes

Hana’s Hundreds of Hijabs
by Razeena O. Gutta

Hana has a humongous collection of hijabs and accessories – and her hijab is always styled superbly. But when her overflowing collection gets a little out of hand, Hana knows something needs to be done . . . and comes up with a clever plan for sharing her talents and possessions with her community! Hana’s Hundreds of Hijabs is a humorous tale of creative problem-solving and learning to help others that will have young readers chuckle along. ~ Asian – Elementary School

The White Nights of Ramadan
by Maha Addasi

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: The White Nights of Ramadan

At almost-full moon, it is time to prepare for Girgian, a mid-Ramadan celebration observed mostly in the Arabian Gulf states. Noor and her brothers make candy to share with the children in the neighbourhood. They also decorate canvas bags, hoping to fill them with treats when they go from house to house in traditional clothes. The White Nights of Ramadan introduces children to the Ramadan traditions of Kuwait. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 21 Children’s Books about Ramadan and Eid

Colour of Home
by Mary Hoffman

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: The Colour of Home

Forced to flee Somalia, Hassan misses the colours of Africa in his cold and grey new home country. Painting a picture of his old home in a school art project helps him deal with his homesickness and the trauma of leaving a war-torn country. Hassan slowly starts to see the beauty of his new home in America, too. The Colour of Home is a poignant story about the trauma of being a refugee, beautifully complemented by bright, impressionistic illustrations. ~ African – Elementary School

Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education
by Raphaele Frier

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Malala

Beautifully illustrated Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education is the latest picture book about the brave girl from Pakistan. Malala Yousafzai stood up to the Taliban and fought for the right for all girls to receive an education. At age 15, the Taliban attempted to kill Malala, but even this did not stop her activism. At age 18, Malala became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls

For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story
by Rebecca Langston-George

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: For The Right To Learn

Another wonderful picture book about brave young activist Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan. With lush illustrations and detailed text, For the Right to Learn focuses mostly on Malala’s life before she was shot. Readers learn how her father inspired people in his region to educate girls, and how her mother was determined to learn to read. The book explains how Malala spoke her mind in her blog and challenged people’s attitudes towards education for girls. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 55 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models

I’m New Here
by Anne Sibley O’Brien

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: I'm New Here

Jin from Korea, Maria from Guatemala, and Fatima from Somalia are all new at their American elementary school. Each of them struggles to speak and write in English. With determination and the encouragement from peers and teachers, the three children feel more and more at home, whilst staying connected to their roots and cultures. I’m New Here shows how school communities can help immigrant children feel at home. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration

The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid
by Jeanette Winter

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: The World Is Not A Rectangle

Growing up in Baghdad, Iraq, Zaha Hadid dreamed of designing her own cities. After studying architecture in London, she opened her own studio but as a Muslim woman faced many obstacles. Determined to succeed, she went on to design buildings all over the world. With engaging illustrations and simple text, The World Is Not A Rectangle tells of the architect’s life and her triumph over adversity. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Children’s Books About Women In STEM

My Name Is Bilal
by Asma Mobin-Uddin MD M.D.

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: My name is Bilal

After moving to a new place, Bilal and his sister Ayesha start at a new school where they are the only Muslims. When Bilal sees his sister bullied on their first day, he worries about being teased himself and decides not to let his classmates know that he is Muslim. My Name Is Bilal is a heartfelt story about a young boy struggling with his identity and a great starting point for discussions about prejudice and discrimination. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books about Bullying

Muslim Girls Rise: Inspirational Champions of Our Time
by Saira Mir

Long ago, Muslim women rode into battle to defend their dreams. They opened doors to the world’s oldest library. They ruled, started movements, and spread knowledge. Today, Muslim women continue to make history. Discover the true stories of nineteen unstoppable Muslim women of the twenty-first century who have risen above challenges, doubts, and sometimes outright hostility to blaze trails in a wide range of fields. Whether it was the culinary arts, fashion, sports, government, science, entertainment, education, or activism, these women never took “no” for an answer or allowed themselves to be silenced. Instead, they worked to rise above and not only achieve their dreams, but become influential leaders. Through short, information-rich biographies and vibrant illustrations, Muslim Girls Rise introduces young readers to the important contributions Muslim women have made, and role models they may never have heard of before, but whose stories they will never forget. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 30 Diverse Children’s Anthologies About Trailblazing Women

Lailah’s Lunchbox
by Reem Faruq

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Lailah's Lunch Box

Lailah’s Lunchbox tells the story of a young girl who is excited to fast for the first time. But Lailah is worried that her classmates won’t understand why she won’t be eating lunch with them. With help from the school librarian and her teacher, Lailah overcomes her fears and makes new friends who respect her beliefs. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 21 Children’s Books about Ramadan and Eid

Deep in the Sahara
by Kelly Cunnane

Lalla lives in the Muslim country of Mauritania, and more than anything, she wants to wear a malafa, the colorful cloth Mauritanian women, like her mama and big sister, wear to cover their heads and clothes in public. But it is not until Lalla realizes that a malafa is not just worn to show a woman’s beauty and mystery or to honor tradition—a malafa for faith—that Lalla’s mother agrees to slip a long cloth as blue as the ink in the Koran over Lalla’s head, under her arm, and round and round her body. Then together, they pray. With poetic language and colourful illustrations, Deep In The Sahara is a wonderful read. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 20 Children’s Books set in the Middle East & Northern Africa

Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad
by James Rumford

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Silent Music

Ali loves soccer, music, dancing, and most of all the ancient art of calligraphy. When bombs start to fall on Baghdad, Ali finds comfort in writing to the silent music in his head that drowns out the terrifying sounds of the war. With stunning pencil-charcoal-and-calligraphy collages, Silent Music tells the touching story of a child’s everyday survival during times of war. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 20 Children’s Books set in the Middle East & Northern Africa

Fatima’s Great Outdoors
by Ambreen Tariq

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Fatima Khazi is excited for her family’s first camping trip! The school week might not have gone as planned, but outdoors, Fatima can achieve anything. She sets up a tent with her father and builds a fire with her mother. At the end of an adventurous day, the family snuggles inside one big tent, serenaded by the sounds of the forest. The thought of leaving the magic of the outdoors tugs at Fatima’s heart, but her sister reminds her that they can keep the memory alive through stories. With cheerful illustrations, Fatima’s Great Outdoors is a rollicking family adventure, and a love letter to the outdoors. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Marya Khan and the Incredible Henna Party
by Saadia Faruqi

All Marya wants for her 8th birthday is an over-the-top birthday party just like the ones Alexa, her rich neighbour, always throws. When Alexa parades into school with fancy invitations, Marya can’t help herself—she claims that she’s having the most epic henna party ever. Now she has to convince her family to make it happen. Maybe she could cook dinner for her parents, or clean her grandmother’s room? Except everything Marya does seems to end in disaster. Will Marya and her family be able pull it together and throw the best party ever?! Marya Khan and the Incredible Henna Party is the start of a charming chapter book series about a 3rd-grader whose persistence and heart are inspiring. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Also available: Marya Khan and the Fabulous Jasmine Garden

A Sky-Blue Bench
by Bahram Rahman

Afghani schoolgirl Aria is excited to be back at school after her landmine accident but also worried about sitting on the hard floor all day with her new prosthetic “helper-leg.” Before the war changed many things in Afghanistan, schools like hers had benches for students to sit at. If she had a bench, her leg would not hurt so much. The answer is obvious: she will gather materials, talk to Kaka Najar, the carpenter in the old city, and learn to build a bench for herself. With a spunky main character and dynamic illustrations, award-winning A Sky-Blue Bench is an inspiring story of resilience. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 2022 ALA Award-Winning Multicultural Children’s & YA Books

Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan
by Jeanette Winter

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Nasreen's Secret School

Since her parents were taken by the Taliban, little Nasreen has not spoken a word. In a desperate attempt to draw her out of her shell of sadness, her grandmother sends her to a secret school for girls. Reading books slowly helps Nasreen back into life. Nasreen’s Secret School is a powerful true story from Afghanistan, told in a matter-of-fact style and complemented by precise acrylic paintings in muted reds, greens and yellows. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 80 Multicultural Children’s Books about School

One Green Apple
by Eve Bunting

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: One Green Apple

Being the new kid in school in a new country, Farah doesn’t speak English, and only listens and nods. On a field trip to an apple orchard, Farah finds comfort in the fact that some things sound the same as they did at home, from dogs eating to people’s friendly laughter. Making apple cider together, Farah starts to connect with her classmates. With warm paintings and sensitive text, One Green Apple puts the reader into the shoes of a young Muslim immigrant. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration

A Girl Called Genghis Khan
by Michelle Lord

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Pakistani girl Maria Toorpakai Wazir loved sports and longed for the freedom that boys in her culture enjoyed. She joined a squash club to pursue her dream, and was taunted, teased, and beaten—but still continued playing. When Maria received an award from the President of Pakistan for outstanding achievement, the Taliban threatened her squash club, her family, and her life. Although forced to quit the team, she refused to give up. Maria kept practicing the game in her bedroom every day for three years and eventually went on to become Pakistan’s top female squash player. A Girl Called Genghis Khan is an empowering picture book about perseverance in the face of overwhelming obstacles. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Women In Sports

Zara’s Rules for Record-Breaking Fun
by Hena Khan

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Zara Saleem is in charge of of the neighbourhood: she organizes the games, picks the teams, and makes sure everyone has a good time. When a new family moves in across the street, suddenly Zara’​s reign is threatened by Naomi, who has big ideas of her own about how the neighbourhood kids can have fun. To get everyone to notice her again, Zara decides she’s going to break a Guinness World Record. But when she finds herself increasingly alone in her record-breaking quest, Zara starts to wonder if sharing the crown and making a new friend might end up being the best rule of all. Zara’s Rules For Record-Breaking Fun is the first book in a fun series starring a young Muslim girl. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Book Series for Girls & Boys 

Brothers in Hope
by Mary Williams

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Brothers in Hope

This award-winning picture book tells the true story of Garang Deng, one of 20,000 Sudanese war orphans. The 8-year-old boy was one of the leaders of the orphans who walked more than a thousand miles in search for safety. Half of them died on the dangerous 4-year-long journey. Those who made it to Ethiopia had to flee again when war arrived there, this time to Kenya. Years later, 3,800 of the children found a new home in the U.S.  Brothers in Hope is a heartbreaking yet inspirational story about the unyielding power of the human spirit. ~ African – Elementary School

Yusra Swims
by Julie Abery

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

“Just a girl / With a dream. / Olympic Games / Swimming team. / Unrest spreads, / Conflict strains. / Staying focused, / Yusra trains.” With sparse rhyme and gorgeous illustrations, Yusra Swims is a stunning biography of Olympic swimmer and Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini. Great for classroom use! ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration

The Cat Man of Aleppo
by Irene Latham & Karim Shamsi-Basha

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

“Aleppo’s city center no longer echoes with the rich, exciting sounds of copper-pot pounding and traditional sword sharpening. His neighborhood is empty–except for the many cats left behind.” Alaa loves Aleppo, but when war comes his neighbours flee to safety, leaving their many pets behind. Alaa starts feeding them but there are so many that he will need to find help from others. Award-winning The Cat Man Of Aleppo tells the true story of a courageous man who in the midst of the Syrian Civil War offered a safe haven to Aleppo’s abandoned cats. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 25 Multicultural Children’s Books teaching Kindness & Empathy

Stories of 20 Mighty Muslim Heroes // Stories of 20 More Mighty Muslim Heroes
by Tamara Haque

The Mighty Muslim Heroes series is a much needed children’s book series that empowers children with stories of 40 famous and little known Muslim heroes who shaped and continue to shape the world. Each story is accompanied by a vibrant illustration or a real image bringing the stories to life. The series aims to increase Muslim representation in children’s books and change misconceptions one hero at a time. ~ Asian – Elementary School





Middle School

Omar Rising
by Aisha Saeed

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Son of a servant, Omar knows his scholarship to Ghalib Academy Boarding School is a huge opportunity. He can’t wait to experience all the school has to offer, especially science club and the soccer team; but he soon learns that first-year scholarship students aren’t allowed to join clubs or teams—plus, they have to earn their keep doing menial chores. On top of that, the school requires scholarship students to get significantly higher grades than kids who can pay tuition, making it nearly impossible for kids like him to graduate. With the help of his tightknit new group of friends Omar sets out to do what seems impossible: change a rigged system. Omar Rising is the compelling companion to bestselling Amal Unbound~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 180+ Asian & Asian American Books for Children & Teenagers

Golden Girl
by Reem Faruq

Seventh grader Aafiyah loves playing tennis, reading Weird but True facts, and hanging out with her best friend, Zaina. However, Aafiyah has a bad habit that troubles her—she’s drawn to pretty things and can’t help but occasionally “borrow” them. But when her father is falsely accused of a crime he hasn’t committed, Aafiyah knows she needs to do something to help. She turns to her Weird but True facts and devises the perfect plan. But what if her plan means giving in to her bad habit, the one she’s been trying to stop? Golden Girl is a captivating coming-of-age middle grade novel in verse about a Pakistani American girl who wants to help her family but finds that doing what’s right isn’t always easy. ~ Asian – Middle School

Anisa’s International Day
by Reem Faruqi

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Pakistani American Anisa is super-excited about International Day and can’t wait to share her mother’s samosas with her class. But when someone else has the exact same idea, Anisa is crushed. Going to her aunt’s dholki party gives her an idea for the perfect activity instead—mehndi! There’s only one problem: Anisa’s best friend doesn’t seem to like the idea. She doesn’t even seem to like Anisa anymore. Will Anisa ever get to enjoy International Day? Filled with fun illustrations, recipes, and activities in the back matter, Anisa’s International Day is an irresistible younger middle grade novel. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 15 Children’s Books set in Pakistan

More to the Story
by Hena Khan

When Jameela Mirza is picked to be feature editor of her middle school newspaper, she’s one step closer to being an award-winning journalist like her late grandfather. The problem is her editor-in-chief keeps shooting down her article ideas. Jameela, along with her three sisters, is devastated when their father needs to take a job overseas for six months. Missing him makes Jameela determined to write an epic article—one to make her dad extra proud. But when her younger sister gets seriously ill, Jameela’s world turns upside down. And as her hunger for fame looks like it might cost her a blossoming friendship, Jameela questions what matters most, and whether she’s cut out to be a journalist at all… Inspired by beloved classic Little Women, More To The Story features four sisters from a modern American Muslim family living in Georgia. ~ African – Middle School

The Shadows of Ghadames
by Joelle Stolz

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: The Shadows of Ghadames

12-year-old Malika yearns to travel like her merchant father. But in late 19th century Libya, that is not an option for a Muslim girl. One night the arrival of a stranger disrupts the traditional order of things in unexpected ways. The Shadows of Ghadames explores women’s rights, freedom, religion, and identity. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 20 Children’s Books set in the Middle East & Northern Africa

Running Overload (Jake Maddox Graphic Novels)
by Jake Maddox

Eighth-grader Nimo Mohamed has made the varsity cross-country team and she’s determined to keep up with the older girls. So she’s training harder than ever, maybe too hard. Soon the runner’s grades are tumbling, her times are slipping, and her body is completely exhausted. Can Nimo learn to pace herself and stop this running overload? With its high-stakes sports story with an exciting full-color comic format, Running Overload will appeal to many tweens. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 80+ Multicultural Graphic Novels for Children & Teenagers

The Night Diary
by Veera Hiranandan

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: The Night Diary

After India has been divided into two countries (India and Pakistan), 12-year-old half-Muslim/half-Hindu Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs anymore. Her family embarks on a dangerous journey to find a new home. Told through Nisha’s letters to her late mother, The Night Diary is a poignant story of loss, identity and hope. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 21 Middle Grade Novels With Multiracial Characters

Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year
by Nina Hamza

Ahmed Aziz is having an epically bad year. After his dad gets sick, the family moves from Hawaii to Minnesota where his dad grew up. Ahmed can’t imagine a worse place to live. He’s one of the only brown kids in his school. And as a proud slacker, Ahmed doesn’t want to deal with expectations from his new teachers. But when he starts learning about his uncle, who died before Ahmed was born, he gets more insight into his family’s history might which is an upside, as his dad’s health hangs in the balance and the school bully refuses to leave him alone. Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year is a hilarious and poignant tween debut about dealing with bullies, making friends, and the power of good books. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books about Bullying

Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds
by Samira Ahmed

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

On the day of a rare super blue blood moon eclipse, twelve-year-old Amira and her little brother, Hamza, attend a special exhibit on medieval Islamic astronomy. While stargazer Amira is wowed by the amazing gadgets, a bored Hamza wanders off, stumbling across the forbidden Box of the Moon. Amira can only watch in horror as Hamza grabs the defunct box and it springs to life, setting off a series of events that could shatter their world—literally. Amira & Hamza is a thrilling fantasy adventure intertwining Islamic legend and history. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 52 Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books

The Red Pencil
by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: The Red Pencil

Another powerful story about a Sudanese war orphan, this time told from a girl’s perspective. Amira’s placid farm life is devastated when war arrives in her village and she loses nearly everything. The 12-year-old has to make the long journey on foot to a refugee camp. Just when she begins to lose hope, the simple gift of a red pencil opens her mind to the possibilities that may still lie ahead. With Pinkney’s poetic language and Evans’ expressive drawing, The Red Pencil is an engaging book about tragic loss and the power of hope. ~ African – Middle School

Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices
by S.K. Ali & Aisha Saeed

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Once Upon an Eid is a joyous collection of short stories by the most brilliant Muslim voices writing today, all about the most joyful holiday of the year: Eid! The short, single-syllable word conjures up a variety of feelings and memories for Muslims. Maybe it’s waking up to the sound of frying samosas or the comfort of bean pie, maybe it’s the pleasure of putting on a new outfit for Eid prayers, or maybe it’s the gift giving and holiday parties to come that day. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 33 Children’s Books about Ramadan and Eid

Farah Rocks Fifth Grade
by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Farah and her best friend, Allie Liu, are hoping to attend sixth grade at the Magnet Academy. But when new girl Dana Denver  starts bullying Farah’s little brother, Samir, Farah begins to second-guess her choice to leave him behind at Harbortown School. She comes up with a plan– but that plan involves lying to those closest to her. The first book in the new series, Farah Rocks Fifth Grade is a heartwarming story about family, friendship and bullying. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books about Bullying

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet
by Zanib Mian

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Omar is not excited about starting at a new school. What if the work is too hard or the kids are mean or the teacher is a zombie alien?! When Omar makes a new best friend, things start looking up — until a Big Mean Bully named Daniel makes every day a nightmare. Luckily, Omar’s enormous imagination and goofy family help him get through life’s ups and downs. Accidental Trouble Magnet is the first book in the hilarious Planet Omar series. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 10 Laugh-Out-Loud Funny Multicultural Picture Books

Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin’s Hijab
by Priya Huq

The same day 13-year-old Bangladeshi-American Nisrin gives a school presentation about Bangladesh while wearing a traditional cultural dress, she is violently attacked on her way home. Deeply traumatized, Nisrin spends the summer depressed and isolated until it’s time for her to start freshman year at a new school. The night before, Nisrin decides that she is going to start wearing hijab. Her mother and grandparent’s shocked and angry reactions confuse her—but they only strengthen her resolve. Piece by Piece is a moving graphic novel about choosing your own path, even if it leads you to a different place than you expected. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 80+ Multicultural Graphic Novels for Children & Teenagers

Amina’s Song
by Hena Khan

Amina has loved every minute of her vacation in Pakistan — the food, the shops, the time she’s spent with her family. She is sad to leave, but also excited to share the wonders of Pakistan with her friends back in Greendale. But they don’t seem overly interested in her trip. And when she decides to do a presentation on Pakistani hero Malala Yousafzai, her classmates focus on the worst parts of the story. How can Amina share the beauty of Pakistan when no one wants to listen? Companion novel to the award-winning Amina’s VoiceAmina’s Song is once again about using your voice to bridge places, people, and communities —this time across continents. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 2022 ALA Award-Winning Multicultural Children’s & YA Books

Oranges in No Man’s Land
by Elizabeth Laird

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Oranges in No Man's Land

Set in Lebanon during the civil war, this is the story of ten-year-old Ayesha’s terrifying journey across no man’s land. The girl has to reach a doctor in hostile territory in order to get medicine for her dying grandmother. Award-winning Oranges in No Man’s Land is a gripping and moving tribute to the human spirit. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 20 Children’s Books set in the Middle East & Northern Africa

Other Words for Home: A Newbery Honor Award Winner
by Jasmine Warga

Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives. At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is. Other Words From Home is a lyrical, life-affirming story is about losing and finding home and, most importantly, finding yourself. ~ Asian – Middle School

Proud (Young Readers Edition): Living My American Dream
by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Multicultural Children's Books About Women In Sports

At the 2016 Olympic Games, Ibtihaj Muhammad smashed barriers as the first American to compete wearing hijab and the first Muslim American woman to win a medal. But before she was an Olympian, activist, and entrepreneur, Ibtihaj was a young outsider growing up in suburban New Jersey. When she fell in love with fencing, a sport most popular with affluent young white people, she stood out even more. Despite often being told that she would never succeed, Ibtihaj powered on to pursue her dream. Enhanced with helpful advice and never-before-published photographs , Proud (Young Readers Edition)is an all-American tale of faith, family, hard work, and self-reliance. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Women In Sports

by Reem Faruqi

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

When her family moves from Pakistan to Peachtree City, all Nurah wants is to blend in, yet she stands out for all the wrong reasons. Nurah’s accent, floral-print kurtas, and tea-colored skin make her feel excluded, until she meets Stahr at swimming tryouts. And in the water Nurah doesn’t want to blend in. She wants to win medals like her star athlete brother, Owais—who is going through struggles of his own in the U.S. Yet when sibling rivalry gets in the way, she makes a split-second decision of betrayal that changes their fates. Unsettled is a warm and powerful coming-of-age story about family and belonging. ~ Asian – Middle School

Everything Sad Is Untrue: (a true story)
by Daniel Nayeri

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

In a classroom in Oklahoma, Khosrou (whom everyone calls “Daniel”) tries to tell his story. But no one believes a word he says. To his classmates he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny, who makes things up and talks about poop too much. But Khosrou’s stories stretch back years, decades and centuries — from the moment his family fled Iran with the secret police moments behind them, to the cement refugee camps of Italy, back to the fields near the river Aras, and further back still to the Jasmine-scented city of Isfahan. Everything Sad Is Untrue is a beautifully told and powerful story of hardship, loss and resilience. ~ Asian – Middle School

A Thousand Questions
by Sadiaa Faruqi

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Mimi is not thrilled to be spending her summer in Karachi, Pakistan, with grandparents she’s never met. Secretly, she wishes to find her long-absent father, and plans to write to him in her beautiful new journal. The cook’s daughter, Sakina, still hasn’t told her parents that she’ll be accepted to school only if she can improve her English test score. Although the girls seem totally incompatible at first, as the summer goes on, Sakina and Mimi realize that they have plenty in common—and that they each need the other to get what they want most. A Thousand Questions is a tender story about two friends from very different backgrounds coming to understand each other. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: The 50 Best Multicultural Middle Grade Books of 2020

The Magical Reality of Nadia
by B. Youssef & C. R. Daly

Nadia loves fun facts. Here are a few about her: She collects bobbleheads (77 so far!). She moved from Egypt to America when she was six years old. The hippo amulet she wears is ancient… as in it’s literally from ancient Egypt. She’s going to win the contest to design a new exhibit at the local museum. Because how cool would that be?! But then a new kid shows up and teases Nadia about her Egyptian heritage. When her amulet starts glowing, she soon discovers that it is holding a helpful — and hilarious — secret. Can she use it to confront the new kid and win the contest? The Magical Reality of Nadia is a humorous and heartfelt story about prejudice, friendship, empathy, and courage. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Fear and Courage

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal
by G. Willow Wilson

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Another spunky Marvel heroine! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who is this all-new Ms Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Ms Marvel Vol.1: No Normal introduces a groundbreaking new heroine that has become an international sensation. ~ Asian – Middle School

More in the series: Ms. Marvel: Stretched Thin // Ms. Marvel: Generation Why // Ms. Marvel: Destined

Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero
by Saadia Faruqi

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas. He is determined to win the regional robotics competition this year. But with the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks around the corner, this is going to be more difficult than he thought. With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and protests against the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger hasn’t gone away. Can he hold onto his joy—and his friendships—in the face of heartache and prejudice? Yusuf Azeem Is Not A Hero is a poignant and timely story about discrimination, identity and hope. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 180+ Asian & Asian American Books For Children & Teenagers

When Stars Are Scattered
by Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, grow up in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya where there is never enough food, and no access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day. Award-winning When Stars Are Scattered is a heartbreaking yet hopeful graphic novel about a childhood spent waiting. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 80+ Multicultural Graphic Novels for Children & Teenagers





High School

All My Rage: A Novel
by Sabaa Tahir

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Pakistani American Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding. Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst. All My Rage is a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness. ~  Asian – High School

Related: The 50 Best Multicultural Young Adult Books of 2022

As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow
by Zoulfa Katouh

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Salama Kassab was a pharmacy student when the cries for freedom broke out in Syria. Now she volunteers at a hospital in Homs, helping the wounded who flood through the doors daily. Secretly, though, she is desperate to find a way out of her beloved country before her sister-in-law, Layla, gives birth. So desperate, that she has manifested a physical embodiment of her fear in the form of her imagined companion, Khawf, who haunts her every move in an effort to keep her safe. But even with Khawf pressing her to leave, Salama is torn between her loyalty to her country and her conviction to survive. And when she crosses paths with the boy she was supposed to meet one fateful day, she starts to doubt her resolve in leaving home at all. As Long As The Lemon Trees Grow is a powerful love letter to Syria and its people, set amid the Syrian Revolution. ~ Asian – High School

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees
by Don Brown

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: The Unwanted

Award-winning The Unwanted is an eye-opening exploration of the Syrian refugee crisis. With straightforward text and expressive drawings in muted colours, the book tells the stories of the survivors  –  the heartbreaking horrors they went through, their courage and resilience and their hopes and dreams for a better future. ~ Asian – High School

Related: 2022 ALA Award-Winning Multicultural Children’s & YA Books

The Henna Wars
by Adiba Jaigirda

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Set in a Bangladeshi community in Ireland, The Henna Wars is a fast-paced novel about the love between two teenage girls, racism and homophobia. Nishat doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is, and it only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance. ~ Asian – High School

Related: 90 Multicultural LGBTQIA Books for Children & Teenagers

This Woven Kingdom
by Tahereh Mafi

To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.
The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined that the servant girl with the strange eyes, the girl he can’t put out of his mind, would one day soon uproot his kingdom—and the world. Clashing empires, forbidden romance, and a long-forgotten queen destined to save her people—This Woven Kingdom is the first in an epic, romantic trilogy inspired by Persian mythology. ~ Asian – High School

Related: 52 Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books

The Awakening of Malcolm X: A Novel
by Ilyasah Shabazz & Tiffany D. Jackson

In Charlestown Prison, Malcolm Little is plagued by nightmares and drifts through the days, unsure of his future. Slowly, he starts to befriend other prisoners, reads all the books in the prison library, and joins the debate team and the Nation of Islam. Malcolm grapples with race, politics, religion, and justice in the 1940s. And as his time in jail comes to an end, he begins to awaken. Written by his daughter, The Awakening of Malcolm X is an intimate and powerful account of the activist’s adolescent years in jail. ~ African – High School

Related: NEW Black History Books For Children & Teenagers

We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya, 2)
by Hafsah Faizal

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

The battle on Sharr is over. The Arz has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan Altair set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, finally bringing magic to all of Arawiya. But they are low on resources and allies alike, and the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return. As the zumra plots to overthrow Arawiya’s darkest threat, Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood. Time is running out, and if order is to be restored, drastic sacrifices will have to be made. Lush and striking, hopeful and devastating, We Free the Stars is the masterful conclusion to the Sands of Arawiya duology. ~ Asian – High School

Related: We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, 1)

Like a Love Story
by Abdi Nazemian

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Like A Love Story

For three teens in 1989 New York City the world is changing. Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS. Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism. Judy meets Reza and they start dating. Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs. As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart—and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known. Stonewall Honour Book Like A Love Story is an epic love letter to queerness, self-expression, and individuality. ~ Asian – High School

Related: 90 Multicultural LGBTQIA Books for Children & Teenagers

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
by Marjane Satrapi

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Persepolis is a powerful and poignant account of growing up during the Islamic Revolution. In striking black-and-white comic strips, the author tells the story of her childhood in Tehran – a childhood that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. This book was banned for ‘graphic illustrations’, ‘offensive language’ and ‘political viewpoint’ . ~ Asian – High School

Related: 28 Banned/Challenged Multicultural Children’s Books

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali
by Sabina Khan

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali has always been fascinated by the universe around her and the laws of physics that keep everything in order. But her life at home isn’t so absolute. Unable to come out to her conservative Muslim parents, she keeps her girlfriend, Ariana, a secret. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life at home and a fresh start at Caltech in the fall. But when Rukhsana’s mom catches her and Ariana together, her future begins to collapse around her. With a mix of humor, heart, and high-stakes drama, The Love And Lies Of Rukhsana Ali is an honest portrait of what it’s like to grow up feeling unwelcome in your own culture. ~ Asian – High School

Related: 180+ Asian & Asian American Books For Children & Teenagers

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know
by Samira Ahmed

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, Indian, Muslim—is on holiday in Paris with her parents but all she really wants is to be back home in Chicago figuring out her messy life. Two hundred years earlier, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favoured status in his harem. Bridging centuries, Leila and Khayyam’s lives intertwine, and as one woman’s long-forgotten life is uncovered, another’s is transformed. Mad, Bad & Dangerous To Know traces the lives of two young women fighting to write their own stories and escape the pressure of cultural expectations defined by men. ~ Asian – High School

Darius the Great Is Not Okay
by Adib Khorram

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: Darius The Great Is Not Okay

Iranian American Darius Kellner feels he never fits in anywhere. He speaks better Klingon than Farsi and knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help matters either. But when Darius meets Sohrab on his first-ever trip to Iran, everything changes. The two boys talk for hours on a secret rooftop. Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name. Darius has never felt more like himself. Award-winning Darius The Great Is Not Okay is a heartfelt and tender novel about identity and friendship. ~ Asian – High School

Darius the Great Deserves Better
by Adib Khorram

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Since Darius’s trip to Iran, he’s been getting along with his dad, and his best friend Sohrab is only a Skype call away. Between his first boyfriend, Landon, varsity soccer practices, and an internship at his favourite tea shop, things seem to be falling into place. It’s everything he’s ever wanted–but what if he deserves better? Stonewall Honour Book Darius The Great Deserves Better is the follow-up to the award-winning Darius the Great Is Not Okay~ Asian – High School

Related: 180+ Asian &  Asian American Books For Children & Teenagers

More Than Just a Pretty Face
by Syed M. Masood

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Danyal Jilani is funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn’t approve of his career choice, but the only opinion that matters to Danyal is that of his longtime crush, the perfect-in-all-ways Kaval, and her family, who consider him a less than ideal arranged marriage prospect. When Danyal gets selected for Renaissance Man, a school-wide academic championship, it’s the perfect opportunity to show everyone he’s smarter than they think. Danyal recruits the brilliant, totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time he spends with her, the more he realizes that happiness may be staring him right in his pretty face. More Than Just A Pretty Face is a sweet and funny debut novel about family expectations and falling in love. ~ Asian – High School 

How It All Blew Up
by Arvin Ahmadi

Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew coming out to his Muslim family would be messy–he just didn’t think it would end in an airport interrogation room. But when faced with a failed relationship, bullies, and blackmail, running away to Rome is his only option. Right? Soon, late nights with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel start to feel like second nature… until his old life comes knocking on his door. At turns uplifting and devastating, How It All Blew Up takes an incisive look at identity and what it means to find yourself by running away. ~ Asian – High School

Girl, Serpent, Thorn
by Melissa Bashardoust

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

Cursed to be poisonous to the touch, princess Soraya has lived her life hidden away from the public. With the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaching, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison. Girl, Serpent, Thorn is an opulent fantasy fairy tale with a complex protagonist who discovers her own power. ~ Asian – High School

Punching the Air
by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters

“The story that I thought / was my life / didn’t start on the day / I was born.” 16-year-old Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. Amal is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. Punching The Air tells the powerful and deeply moving story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth, in a system designed to strip him of both. ~ African – High School

X: A Novel
by Ilyasah Shabazz

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: X: A Novel

Co-written by Malcolm X’s daughter, X follows the formative years of one of the most powerful leaders in African American history. From his father being murdered, his mother being taken away, and himself being placed in foster care, to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would guide him onto a new path, X is an award-winning novel about a man who shook the world. ~ African – High School

Related: 21 Award-winning Children’s Books for Black History Month

The Lines We Cross
by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Children's & YA Books with Muslim Characters: The Lines We Cross

Set in Australia, this timely new release tells the story of Michael who attends anti-immigration protests with his parents, and Mina, a refugee from Afghanistan, who is on the other side of the protest lines. When Mina starts at Michael’s school, the two teenagers enter into an unlikely relationship. With increasing discrimination against immigrants, Michael and Mina have to face difficult decisions. The Lines We Cross is a poignant and thought-provoking Romeo-and-Juliet story about prejudice and discrimination against Muslim immigrants. ~ Asian – High School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration

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One Response

  1. Mia Wenjen
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing this valuable resource on Muslims in KidLit with Read Your World Day 2024! It’s a big topic these days!

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