The Middle East Outreach Council established the Middle East Book Award in 1999 to recognize books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to understanding of the Middle East. For purposes of this award, the Middle East is defined as: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, the Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Books that are nominated for awards are judged on the authenticity of their portrayal of a Middle Eastern subject, as well as on their characterization, plot, and appeal for the intended audience. A committee of MEOC members, including teachers, librarians, outreach coordinators, and other educators select award winners (and, if deemed appropriate, honorable mention titles) in three categories.
The Middle East Book Award, along with our sister programs (the Américas Award, the Children’s Africana Book Award, the Freeman Book Awards (East/Southeast Asia), and the South Asia Book Award), is pleased to recognize exemplary titles in globally focused literature for younger readers.
Lists of recognized titles by category
Simply worded plot- or subject-driven text, accompanied by large images on most pages, intended for very young readers.
Reference or other non-fiction —e.g., biography—intended for K-12 audiences or their teachers
Plot-driven books (with or without illustrations); collections of poetry; and/or memoirs appropriate for young adult readers in middle and high school.
Are you a publisher or author hoping to submit your book for consideration? Click here for submission guidelines.
Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers,
by Lina AlHathloul & Uma Mishra-Newberry
A Sky-Blue Bench, by Bahram Rahman; illustrated by Peggy Collins (Pajama Press, 2021)
Nour's Secret Library, by Wafa' Tarnowska; Illustrated by Vali Mintzi (Barefoot Books, 2022)
A Land With a People: Palestinians and Jews Confront Zionism, edited by Esther Farmer, Rosalind Pollack Petchesky, Sarah Sills (Monthly Review Press, 2021)
Travelers Along the Way: A Robin Hood Remix, by Aminah Mae Safi (Feiwel & Friends, 2022)
Tunnels, by Rutu Modan, Translated by Ishai Mishory (Drawn and Quarterly, 2021)