Books to Celebrate Arab American Heritage Month!

By Kat La Mantia | March 12 2024 | Children'sGeneralAllGiftBlogAdults

April marks Arab American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate Arab American history and culture! Our list of Arab American Heritage Month book picks features poignant memoirs like The Cave, which captures Dr. Amani Ballour’s experience running an underground hospital in the thick of the crisis in Syria, and I Was Their American Dream, Malaka Gharib’s award-winning graphic memoir about growing up as the child of immigrant parents and navigating cultural divides. Stonewall Honor Book The Skin and Its Girl and National Book Award finalist Huda F Cares are some of our favorite picks for fiction lovers; Eleven Words for Love: A Journey Through Arabic Expressions of Love and Amira’s Picture Day are perfect for young readers; and delicious cookbooks like Arabiyya or Bahari offer an authentic taste of home.

Explore these and more of our Arab American Heritage Month selections on the title list below!

More Arab American Heritage Month Must-Reads

The Skin and Its Girl
A Novel
978-0-593-49955-9
A young, queer Palestinian American woman pieces together her great-aunt’s secrets in this “enchanting, memorable” (Bustle) debut, confronting questions of sexual identity, exile, and lineage. "As beautifully detailed as a piece of Palestinian embroidery, this bold, vivid novel will speak to readers across genders, cultures, and identities."—Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Fencing with the King
$18.00 US
Apr 23, 2024
5-3/16 x 8
Paperback
368 Pages
Ballantine Books

Huda F Cares
(National Book Award Finalist)
978-0-593-53280-5
A National Book Award for Young People's Literature FinalistIn this laugh-out-loud funny sequel to the graphic novel Huda F Are You?, the Fahmys are off to Disney World, but self-conscious Huda worries her family will stand out too much. (Cover may vary)
$16.99 US
Oct 10, 2023
6 x 8
Paperback
208 Pages
Dial Books
Age 12 and up

The Cave
A Secret Underground Hospital and One Woman's Story of Survival in Syria
978-1-4262-2274-0
This searing memoir tells the story of a young doctor and activist who ran an underground hospital in Damascus, humanizing the enduring crisis in Syria.
$30.00 US
Mar 05, 2024
6 x 9
Hardcover
256 Pages
National Geographic

I Was Their American Dream
A Graphic Memoir
978-0-525-57511-5
One part Mari Andrew, one part Marjane Satrapi, I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir is a triumphant tale of self-discovery, a celebration of a family's rich heritage, and a love letter to American immigrant freedom. Malaka Gharib's illustrations come alive with teenage antics and earnest questions about identity and culture, while providing thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised.
$16.99 US
Apr 30, 2019
6 x 9
Paperback
160 Pages
Clarkson Potter

Arabiyya
Recipes from the Life of an Arab in Diaspora [A Cookbook]
978-1-9848-5907-5
A collection of 100 bright, bold recipes influenced by the vibrant flavors and convivial culture of the Arab world, filled with moving personal essays on food, family, and identity mixed with a pinch of California cool, from chef and activist Reem Assil
$35.00 US
Apr 19, 2022
8-1/2 x 10
Hardcover
304 Pages
Ten Speed Press

Bahari
Recipes From an Omani Kitchen and Beyond
978-0-7440-9235-6
With honesty and curiosity, British-born Omani-Zanzibari chef Dina Macki explores the unique foodscape of Oman, in the first Omani cookbook to be written by an Omani chef.
$30.00 US
Feb 06, 2024
7-7/16 x 9-11/16
Hardcover
256 Pages
DK

Eleven Words for Love: A Journey Through Arabic Expressions of Love
978-1-5362-3021-5
A lyrical narrative of a Palestinian family in exile explores universal bonds of family, loyalty, and friendship through the lens of eleven Arabic expressions for love.A family has fled their homeland in search of safety in another country, carrying a single suitcase. As their journey unfolds, the oldest child reflects on the special contents of that suitcase: photo albums that evoke eleven of many names for love in Arabic. From sunshine-warm friendship to the love that dissolves all tears; from the love that makes you swoon to the love that leaves you yearning for the heart’s homeland—her family has experienced it all. Illustrated in vibrant watercolor pencil and collage on textured card stock, this moving scrapbook shows a family embracing an unknown future even as they honor the past, casting immigration and the refugee experience in the light of universal human connection.
$18.99 US
Nov 07, 2023
9-1/4 x 12-3/16
Hardcover
40 Pages
Candlewick
Age 4-8 years

Amira's Picture Day
978-0-8234-5126-5
Ramadan has come to an end, and Amira can't wait to stay home from school to celebrate Eid. There's just one hiccup: it's also school picture day. How can Amira be in two places at once? An ALSC Notable Children's Book
$8.99 US
Feb 28, 2023
10 x 10
Paperback
40 Pages
Holiday House
Age 4-8 years

Girls That Never Die
Poems
978-0-593-22948-4
Intimate poems that explore feminine shame and violence and imagine what liberation from these threats might look like, from the award-winning author of The January Children
$17.00 US
Jul 12, 2022
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Paperback
144 Pages
One World

Love Is an Ex-Country
A Memoir
978-1-64622-122-6
Queer. Muslim. Arab American. A proudly Fat woman. Randa Jarrar is all of these things. In this "exuberant, defiant and introspective" memoir of a cross-country road trip, she explores how to claim joy in an unraveling and hostile America (The New York Times Book Review).
$16.95 US
Apr 18, 2023
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Paperback
240 Pages
Catapult

Shubeik Lubeik
978-1-5247-4841-8
A brilliantly original debut graphic novel that imagines a fantastical alternate Cairo where wishes really do come true. Shubeik Lubeik—a fairy tale rhyme that means “your wish is my command” in Arabic—is the story of three people who are navigating a world where wishes are literally for sale. • A Best Book of the Year: The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, NPR
$35.00 US
Jan 10, 2023
7-1/4 x 10-1/4
Hardcover
528 Pages
Pantheon

The Land in Our Bones
Plantcestral Herbalism and Healing Cultures from Syria to the Sinai--Earth-based pathways to ancestral stewardship and belonging in diaspora
978-1-62317-914-4
*Instant USA Today bestseller*A profound and searching exploration of the herbs and land-based medicines of Lebanon and Cana’an—a vital invitation to re-member our roots and deepen relationship with the lands where we live in diaspora
$24.95 US
Feb 13, 2024
6 x 9
Paperback
368 Pages
North Atlantic Books

They Called Me a Lioness
A Palestinian Girl's Fight for Freedom
978-0-593-13459-7
A Palestinian activist jailed at sixteen after a confrontation with Israeli soldiers illuminates the daily struggles of life under occupation in this moving, deeply personal memoir. “I cannot even begin to convey the clarity, the intensity, the power, the photographic storytelling of They Called Me a Lioness.”—Ibram X. Kendi, internationally bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Kirkus Reviews
$18.00 US
Sep 05, 2023
5-3/16 x 8
Paperback
288 Pages
One World

Deep in the Sahara
978-0-525-64566-5
"Poetic language, attractive illustrations and a positive message about Islam, without any didacticism: a wonderful combination," declares Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.
$8.99 US
May 01, 2018
10 x 10
Paperback
40 Pages
Dragonfly Books
Age 4-8 years

Our Women on the Ground
Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World
978-0-14-313341-4
19 Arab women journalists speak out about what it's like to report on their changing homelands in this first-of-its-kind essay collection, with a foreword by CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour
$17.00 US
Aug 06, 2019
5-1/16 x 7-3/4
Paperback
304 Pages
Penguin Books

The Tale of Princess Fatima, Warrior Woman
The Arabic Epic of Dhat al-Himma
978-0-14-313426-8
Published in English for the first time: the only Arabic epic named for a woman, recounting the thrilling adventures of a legendary medieval warrior universally known throughout the Middle East and long overdue to join world literature's pantheon of female heroesA Penguin Classic
$16.00 US
Aug 03, 2021
5-1/16 x 7-3/4
Paperback
208 Pages
Penguin Classics