My Cousin Tamar Lives in Israel

A boy living in the United States describes differences in the way he and his family observe Jewish traditions, and the way his cousin and her family observe the same traditions in the Jewish homeland.

Parade of Shadows

In 1907, sixteen-year-old Julia Hamilton, happy to accompany her diplomat father on a tour of the Ottoman-controlled cities of Istambul, Damascus, Palmyra, and Aleppo, soon finds the journey increasingly hazardous as she begins to uncover her father’s true mission and the secret motivations of the other travelers in their group.

The Dead Sea Scrolls

This book details the important archaeological discovery of the ancient manuscripts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls and discusses efforts to translate them, the battle over their possession, and the people who have figured in their history.

The White Nights of Ramadan

Noor lives in a country near the Arabian (Persian) Gulf. She’s looking forward to the festival known as Girgian that comes in the middle of the holy month of Ramadan. These middle days are known as the three whites, because they include the day of the full moon and day before and after. It’s when children, dressed in traditional clothes, go from house to house collecting treats from their neighbors.

Sunrise over Fallujah

Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion at the beginning of Operation Iraqui Freedom, and he will be the liaison between the military and the Iraqis. His time there profoundly changes him.

Four Feet, Two Sandals

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. Soon Lina and Feroza meet, each wearing one coveted sandal. Together they solve the problem of having four feet and two sandals. 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.

This book has been included in WOW’s Kids Taking Action Booklist. For our current list, visit our Boolist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return

In 1984, Marjane flees fundamentalism and the war with Iraq to begin a new life in Vienna. Once there, she faces the trials of adolescence far from her friends and family, and while she soon carves out a place for herself among a group of fellow outsiders, she continues to struggle for a sense of belonging. Finding that she misses her home more than she can stand, Marjane returns to Iran after graduation. Her difficult homecoming forces her to confront the changes both she and her country have undergone in her absence and her shame at what she perceives as her failure in Austria. Marjane allows her past to weigh heavily on her until she finds some like-minded friends, falls in love, and begins studying art at a university. However, the repression and state-sanctioned chauvinism eventually lead her to question whether she can have a future in Iran.

Silent Music

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.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Johanna’s grandfather founded the largest clothing store in town and built up his wealth with his own hands–at least that’s the family legend. But when Johanna travels to Israel for a class project, she finds out that the family of Meta Levin originally owned the store. She learns that her grandfather legally acquired the company during the Nazi regime according to the anti-Semitic laws of the Third Reich. Johanna is worried: her family’s wealth is obviously founded on injustice. Should she keep silent, or should she wake the sleeping dogs?