Islamic fiction

Contributor's Form (list #107)

The book Haibibi by Noami Nye (I think that is the author) is about a Muslim 15 year old girl, growing up in St. Louis. Her parents relocate to Jerusalem, and now has to adjust to being a Muslim rather than being an American.

Fletcher, Susan._Shadow spinner_,1998. This is a re-telling of the tale of Shahrazad. Shahrazad must tell a different tale to the Sultan every night or be killed and she runs out of tales. She hears of a crippled girl who knows more tales and they get her into the harem. There is much intrigue in the harem; people are smuggled in and out, the Sultan's mother is much to be feared, and there is a mysterious blind story teller in the bazaar. The whole thing gets quite complicated at the end.

The Beduins Gazelle by Temple, which is an adventure/love story. Quite a lot of information about Islamic culture as well as a suspenseful story.

The sequel to the Ramsey Scallop called the Beduin's Gazelle. I can't remember if the character is Muslim for sure but it seems as though he was.The story is set against medieval Arabia. It was Frances Temple's last novel. It was very good. The young romance aspect of it will appeal to the kids but there are plenty of historical insights to be gained.

A book edited by Indries Shah that contained short "teaching" stories of the Sufi mystics. Some of them have become so widely reprinted that they have become part of Western culture.

At the Jr. High level - the books Sahabanu, Daughter of the Wind and its sequel, Haveli are wonderful books. Shabanu, one of my personal favorites, tells a lot about culture but not much about religious beliefs. It's 7-10 or so story of girl and sister in present day Afghanistan, male dominated, Muslim farming/camel raising society...girls expected to marry when they reach puberty to whomever the family choses. I read it last summer and it's well done, tell-it-like-it-is, no easy way out kind of story. Shabanu is a young girl living in the Cholistan desert in Pakistan and through both books you get a vivid picture of live in a Muslim culture, with arranged marriges, etc. I guess *Shabanu* is too "old" for them, too. I'll be interested in seeing others' responses. It's the story of a young girl pledged by her father to marry an older man. Does she go along with the custom and her father's wishes or face the consequences of bucking the system? It was a Newbery Honor book and a great read. You might want to skim through it to see if this is what you want-there is some mature subject matter in the book, but it was a Newbery Honor Book. Hope this helps. It's about a young girl who is forced into a marriage by her father, but wants to try to get out of the situation. Big award winner, and it's pretty realistic in both description of Muslim identity and the workings of the plot. It's a terrific story of the treatment of women in a culture in the Middle East

King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry. On the first page of the first chapter the horseboy celebrates the sacred month of Ramadan, and is a Mohammedan. The horse boy is Muslim, and has a good bit in the beginning about the impact Islam has on the main characters in the story. It's a good story, even tho' you could claim the horse as the main character. However, it may be for a younger age audience.

_Against the Storm_ by Gaye Hicyilmaz, about a boy in Turkey (contemporary)

Ali and Nino by Kurban Said. Recently republished by Overlook Press, 1996. (American translation first published by Random House in 1970) Stunning story of teenagers (?) in love, one Muslim and one Christian, set in a village which I think was in Turkey or Persia or ?? The book is still on the shelf at home, but it's been a while since I've read it.

This one is probably too mature and/or sophisticated for 7th graders, but adult readers and teachers of older adolescents ought to know about Bapsi Sidhwa's wonderful *Cracking India*, a brilliant, funny, and disturbing novel of the Partition as seen through the eyes of a nine-year old girl. I've read that it's being mad into a movie.

How about Seven Sons for Seven Daughters (or the other way around, I can never remember.) This is based on an old tale of a daughter from a poor family who disguises herself as a boy so she can go to the big city to earn money.

Schami, Rafik. A Hand Full of Stars. Friendships between Catholics and Muslims in the midst of political violence in modern-day Damascus.

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