Reading is a huge part of our classroom and it’s important to us to make sure the books and characters reflect all aspects of the lives of our students. That includes books about and including different faiths, backgrounds and cultural beliefs.
Ramadan is an important part of our classroom culture so we searched high and low to find books that our students could use to learn from and reflect on. Here are some of the titles we found and thought you should check out yourself.
Some of these books are specifically about Ramadan or Eid-al-Fitr while others feature Muslim characters and traditions. All of them are great reads! Books are just one way we acknowledge Ramadan and Eid in our classroom. If you are interested in the other ways we do this, read our post: Acknowledge Ramadan and Eid With Your Students.
To give our students a basic understanding of Ramadan, we wrote several little reading passages. They are combined in our Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr Reading and Writing Activities. We wanted students to have a basic understanding of Ramadan and Eid as we were reading many books about them.
We also had some of our Muslim families come and teach us about some of the traditions. It was so much fun and everyone was able to see that even though there are some differences, most people take part in religions that are all about peace and kindness.
Food and music connect people, so having the chance to taste some foods prepared by members of our school community really brought all of us together.
All ages love reading picture books. They are great way to incorporate new information in a short and sweet lesson. Don’t forget to let your older students read and enjoy picture books-they aren’t just for little kids!
In fact, we encourage our students in grades four and five to pick out books in the library to read with their buddy friends. We go to the library about every two week together to read together. The students really enjoy this time connecting with each other.
Our book lists do not contain affiliate links. We encourage you to shop at your local bookstore. Often these smaller businesses can bring in books larger retailers aren’t interested in and some will even work out deals with schools. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan
This is a book about colors, but it’s told through an Islam lens. It is beautifully illustrated. Our students saw themselves in this book (so we asked our librarian to buy a copy for our school).
Ramadan Moon by Na’ima B Robert
We loved the message of kindness from this book. It’s a message that crosses all faiths.
Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitmann
This is a great book (though it is not as informative about the customs during Ramadan). It has wonderful illustrations.
Rashad’s Ramadan and Eid-Al-Fitr by Lisa Bullard
This book is for slightly younger students, but our English language learners found the language easier to understand, so it worked well in our grade 4/5 classroom. The kids could relate to trying to be good all month (even the Christian kids made the comparison to being good for Santa).
Night of the Moon by Hena Khan
This is a story about an Afghanistani girl and her family’s traditions during Ramadan and Eid. Again, as with all Hena Khan books-informative and beautiful.
A Party in Ramadan by Asma Modin-Uddin
We loved this book because it features a girl trying her first fast. The girls in the class loved this story and really connected with Leena.
The White Nights of Ramadan by Maha Addasi
Until reading this book, we didn’t realize there are different aspects to Ramadan. We found this book informative and interesting to show another aspect of Ramadan based on the nights before during and after the full moon.
The Gift of Ramadan by Rabiah York Lumbard
Sophia wants to fast for Ramadan, but she just can’t help herself when she smells cookies and ends up breaking her fast. This one is very relatable for students!
Once Upon a Ramadan by D. N. Hockey
Three children experience Ramadan together with their stuffed animals. When they bake cookies, their stuffed animals (Monkey, Puppy, and Fox) get messy and need a bath. They collect presents for children in need, and Puppy falls asleep in the bag. This book is written for younger students, but it can be appreciated by any elementary age.
Laillah’s Lunchbox by Reem Faruqi
Lailah’s family moves to the US from Abu Dhabi. When Ramadan begins, she is excited to participate in the fasting for the first time but worried that her classmates won’t understand why she won’t be eating lunch with them. This is a great book to explain why Muslim students fast during Ramadan, particularly if this is a new experience for some of the classmates.
Zachariah’s Perfect Day by Farrah Qazi
This book follows Zachariah (a 12-year-old Muslim boy) through the first day of Ramadan. This beautiful book explains the traditional routines of Muslim families during Ramadan, from fasting and praying to preparing the Iftar meal and giving to those in need. This one is great for upper elementary.
Moon Watchers: Shirin’s Ramadan Miracle by Reza Jalali
Shirin follows the stages of the moon throughout Ramadan. She wants to fast like the rest of her Persian American family, including her older brother, and is thrilled when she is finally allowed to do so for half a day. When she discovers her brother secretly eating, she decides not to expose him, but help him instead, acting in the true spirit of Ramadan.
The Best Eid Ever by Asma Mobin-Uddin
Aneesha spends Eid with her Grandmother while her parents are in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage. She receives a gift of gorgeous clothes from Pakistan, complete with matching bangles, handmade shoes, and her favourite curried lamb dish. She meets two girls at the prayer who had to flee their war-torn country, making Aneesha realize how fortunate she is.
The Last Night of Ramadan by Maissa Hamed
A young Muslim boy experiences the Holy Month of Ramadan and all the traditions associated with it. This is good book for learning about the different traditions.
Under My Hijab by Hena Khan
The day we bought this book and put it in our classroom it disappeared within minutes. Don’t worry-it was just being loved by a student in out class. She came up after reading the book and gave us a hug, thanking us for finding a book with pictures like her family. Hena Khan is a wonderful author and she understands how challenging it can be for teachers to bring these lessons into the classroom. Be sure to check out her website, where she has lesson plans for teachers when they are using her books. This is MUST HAVE BOOK for your school and school library.
The challenge we had was finding an equal share of books. Most of our school classrooms and libraries contain thousands of books with Christmas and Easter, but we could only find a few copies of a few books with Muslim characters. So, we’re on a mission to get more books for our classroom and school library.
One of the pillars of Islam is showing kindness to others. We created a Kindness Challenge that we use with our students during the school year. You can find it in our Resource Library or we can email you a copy directly. And don’t forget you can find reading passages and activities for writing in our store in our Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr Reading and Writing Activities package.
If you are looking for some books for other holidays and observances, you might interested in some of our other book lists.
- Books or Orange Shirt Day
- Books for Remembrance Day
- Books for Lunar New Year
- Books About Kindness
- Christmas Books
- Poetry Books
- Books for Holi Festival of Colours
We encourage you to visit your local book stores and encourage them to carry more books that value diversity. The only way our students will start to see themselves in the books they read and see in our classrooms is if these books become more easily accessible. That means we need more of these books available.
Do you know about a book we should know about? Please help us expand our library by adding a books title to the comments below.