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For the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, May 27 (expected date) begins the holy month of Ramadan. These six titles highlight traditions, beliefs, and events central to Ramadan, including those that are particular to certain regions and communities. Muslim readers may find some of their own experiences reflected in these stories, while those who do not celebrate Ramadan will find much to learn and enjoy within these books.

Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story

by Reem Faruqi, Illustrated by Lea Lyon

In this story, based on the author’s own experiences growing up, Lailah is fasting for Ramadan for the first time. Her excitement is mixed with a longing for the friends she left behind in the United Arab Emirates, and nervousness at explaining to her teacher and classmates at her new school in Georgia why she won’t be eating lunch for the next month. With the help of the school librarian, Lailah finds a way to share her feelings with her teacher, as well as a place to spend her lunchtimes during Ramadan – the library. Soft watercolors deftly express the range of emotions Lailah experiences in this story of belonging and growing up. The glossary is very brief, but an author’s note elaborates on Reem Faruqi’s childhood experiences.

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