A national network of resources and information about the Middle East

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. 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.

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, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

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:

  • Picture Book (simply worded, plot- or subject-driven text accompanied by large images on most pages, intended for elementary school readers).
  • Youth Literature (plot-driven books appropriate for readers in middle and high school).
  • Youth Non-Fiction (reference or other non-fiction—e.g., memoir—intended for K-12 audiences or their teachers)

For more information, contact Susan Douglass, Book Awards Chair, Susan.Douglass@georgetown.edu.

Award winners and honorable mentions are listed by Picture Book, Youth Literature, and Youth Non-Fiction categories.

 


PICTURE BOOK AWARDS

2016

No award in this category.

2015 Award Winner

WHEN THE ANIMALS SAVED EARTH: AN ECO-FABLE retold by Alexis York Lumbard, illustrated by Demi (Wisdom Tales, 2015).

2015 Honorable Mentions

NEW MONTH/NEW MOON by Allison Ofanansky, photographs by Eliyahu Alpern (Kar-Ben Publishing, 2014).

THE OLIVE TREE by Elsa Marston, illustrator Claire Ewart (Wisdom Tales, 2014).

THE STORY OF HURRY by Emma Williams, illustrated by Ibrahim Quraishi (Seven Stories Press, 2014).

2014 Award Winner

RAZIA’S RAY OF HOPE by Elizabeth Suneby, illustrated by Suana Verelst (Citizen Kid, 2013)

2013 Award Winner

HANDS AROUND THE LIBRARY: PROTECTING EGYPT’S TREASURED BOOKS by Karen Leggett Abouraya, illustrated by Susan L. Roth (Dial Books, 2012)

2013 Honorable Mention

GOLDEN DOMES AND SILVER LANTERNS: A MUSLIM BOOK OF COLORS by Hena Khan, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini (Chronicle Books, 2012)

2012 Award Winners

FOLKTALES FROM TURKEY: FROM AGRI TO ZELVE by Serpil Ural, illustrated by Dilara Arin (Citlembik Publications, 2012)

THE WOODEN SWORD: A JEWISH FOLKTALE FROM AFGHANISTAN by Ann Redisch Stampler, illustrated by Carol Liddiment (Albert Whitman & Company, 2012).

2012 Honorable Mention

WHAT’S THE BUZZ: HONEY FOR A SWEET NEW  YEAR by Alison Ofanansky, photographs by Eliyahu Alpern. (Kar-Ben Publishing, 2011)

2011 Award Winner

MIRROR by Jeannie Baker (Candlewick Press, 2010)

2011 Honorable Mentions

THE SECRET MESSAGE by Mina Javaherbin, illustrated by Bruce Whatley, (Disney/Hyperion Books, 2010)

TIME TO PRAY by Maha Addasi, illustrated by Ned Gannon (Boyds Mills Press, 2010)

2010 Award Winner

HOW MANY DONKEYS: AN ARABIC COUNTING TALE by Margaret Read MacDonald and Nadia Jameel Taibah, illustrated by Carol Liddiment  (Albert Whitman & Company, 2009)

2010 Honorable Mention

KINGS AND CARPENTERS: ONE HUNDRED BIBLE LAND JOBS YOU MIGHT HAVE PRAISED OR PANNED by Laurie Coulter and Mary Newbigging (Annick Press, 2010)

2009 Award Winner

THE BUTTER MAN by Elizabeth Alalou and Ali Alalou (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2008)

2009 Honorable Mention

THE GRAND MOSQUE OF PARIS: A STORY OF HOW MUSLIMS RESCUED JEWS DURING THE HOLOCAUST by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix (Holiday House, 2009)

2008 Award Winner

SILENT MUSIC: A STORY OF BAGHDAD written and illustrated by James Rumford (Roaring Brook Press, 2008)

2008 Honorable Mentions

FOUR FEET, TWO SANDALS by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed, illustrated by Doug Chayka (Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers, 2007)

THE BEST EID EVER by Asma Mobin-Uddin, illustrated by Laura Jacobsen (Boyds Mills Press, 2007)

2007 Award Winner

ONE CITY, TWO BROTHERS by Chris Smith, illustrated by Aurélia Fronty (Barefoot Books, 2007)

2007 Honorable Mention

COUNT YOUR WAY THROUGH IRAN by Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson, illustrated by Farida Zaman (Millrook Press, 2007)

THE RICH MAN AND THE PARROT retold by Suzan Nadimi, illustrated by Ande Cook (Albert Whitman & Company, 2007)

2006 Award Winner

LUGALBANDA, THE BOY WHO GOT CAUGHT UP IN A WAR by Kathy Henderson, illustrated by Jane Ray (Candlewick Press, 2006)

2006 Honorable Mention

MYSTERY BOTTLE by Kristen Balouch, (Hyperion Books for Children, 2006)

2005 Award Winner

ALIA’S MISSION: SAVING THE BOOKS OF IRAQ by Mark Alan Stamaty (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004)

2005 Honorable Mention

THE LIBRARIAN OF BASRA by Jeanette Winter (Harcourt, 2005)

THE TRAVELS OF BENJAMIN OF TUDELA by Uri Shulevitz (Farrar Traus Giroux, 2005)

2004 Award Winner

MUHAMMAD written and illustrated by Demi (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2003)

2002 Award Winner

CELEBRATING RAMADAN by Diane Hoyt Goldsmith, photographs by Lawrence Migdale (Holiday House, 2002)

2001 Award Winner

TRAVELING MAN: THE JOURNEY OF IBN BATTUTA, 1325-1354 written and illustrated by James Rumford (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001).

2000 Award Winner

THE HOUSE OF WISDOM by Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland, (DK Publishing, Inc., 1999)

2000 Honorable Mention

THE STORYTELLERS by Ted Lewin (New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, 1998)

 


YOUTH LITERATURE AWARDS

2016 Award Winners

WHEN THE MOON IS LOW by Nadia Hashimi (Wiliam Morrow).

DARE TO DISAPPOINT: GROWING UP IN TURKEY by Ozge Samanci (Farrar Strauss Giroux for Young Readers).

2016 Honorable Mention

IT AIN’T SO AWFUL FALAFEL by Firoozeh Dumas (Clarion Books).

2015 Award Winner

THE TURTLE OF OMAN by Naomi Shihab Nye. (Greenwillow Books, 2014).

2015 Honorable Mentions

LIKE WATER ON STONE by Dana Walrath. (Delacorte Press, 2014).

REBELS BY ACCIDENT by Patricia Dunn. (Sourcebooks, Inc., 2014).

2014 Award Winner

FEAR OF BEAUTY: A NOVEL by Susan Froetschel (Seventh Street Books, 2013)

2013 Award Winner

THE GIRL WHO FELL TO EARTH: A MEMOIR by Sophia Al-Maria (Harper Perennial, 2012)

2013 Honorable Mention

A GAME FOR SWALLOWS: TO DIE, TO LEAVE, TO RETURN by Zeina Abirache (Graphic Universe, 2012)

A FORT OF NINE TOWERS: AN AFGHAN FAMILY STORY by Qais Akbar Omar (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012)

2012 Award Winners

ALIF THE UNSEEN by G. Willow Wilson (Grove Press, 2012)

JERUSALEM: CHRONICLES FROM THE HOLY CITY by Guy Delisle (Drawn and Quarterly, 2012)

2011 Award Winners

WHERE THE STREETS HAD A NAME by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Scholastic Press, 2010)

SHOOTING KABUL by N.H. Senzai (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2011)

2009 Award Winners

WANTING MOR by Rukhsana Khan (Groundwood Books, 2009)

2009 Honorable Mention

A BOTTLE IN THE GAZA SEA by Valérie Zenatti (Blooomsbury Publishing PLC, 2008)

EXTRA CREDIT by Andrew Clements (Atheneum Books, 2009).

2008 Award Winner

THE APPRENTICE’S MASTERPIECE: A STORY OF MEDIEVAL SPAIN by Melanie Little (Annick Press, 2007)

2007 Award Winner

TASTING THE SKY: A PALESTINIAN CHILDHOOD by Ibtisam Barakat (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007)

2006 Award Winner

A LITTLE PIECE OF GROUND by Elizabeth Laird (Haymarket Books, 2006; originally published in England by Macmillan UK in 2003)

2005 Award Winner

FIGS AND FATE by Elsa Marston (George Braziller, 2005)

2003 Awards Winner

19 VARIETIES OF GAZELLE by Naomi Shihab Nye (Greenwillow Books, 2002)

2002 Award Winner

THE BREADWINNER by Deborah Ellis (Groundwood Books, 2002)

2001 Award Winner

SAMIR AND YONATAN by Daniella Carmi (Scholastic, 2000 [English edition])

2000 Award Winner

HABIBI by Naomi Shihab Nye (Simon and Schuster, 1997)

 


YOUTH NON-FICTION AWARDS

2016 Award Winners

GOLDA MEIR: A STRONG, DETERMINED LEADER, by David A. Adler (Puffin)

THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS (DISCOVER) by Isabel and Imogen Greenberg (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)

2015 Award Winner

CHILDREN GROWING UP WITH WAR by Jenny Matthews (Candlewick Press, 2014).

2015 Honorable Mentions

CHILDREN OF THE STONE: THE POWER OF MUSIC IN A HARD LAND by Sandy Tolan (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015).

OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS: EGYPT, edited by Margaret Haerens (Greenhaven Press, 2015).

2013 Award Winners

THE COMPASSIONATE WARRIOR: ABD EL-KADER OF ALGERIA by Elsa Marston (Wisdom Tales, 2013)

THE ARAB WORLD THOUGHT OF IT: INVENTIONS, INNOVATIONS, AND AMAZING FACTS by Saima Hussain (Annick Press, 2013)

2012 Award Winners

BEYOND BULLETS: A PHOTO JOURNAL OF AFGHANISTAN by Rafal Gerszak (Annick Press, 2012)

BYE BYE BABYLON: BEIRUT 1975-1979 by Lamia Ziade (Interlink Publishing Group, 2012)

2012 Honorable Mention

LIVING THROUGH THE ARAB-ISRAELI WAR SINCE 1948 by Alex Woolf (Heinemann-Raintree, 2012)

2011 Award Winners

THE GENIUS OF ISLAM: HOW MUSLIMS MADE THE MODERN WORLD by Bryn Barnard (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2011)

HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS by Sarah Glidden (Vertigo, 2011)

2010 Award Winner

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SAUDI ARABIA by James Wynbrandt (Checkmark Books, 2010)

2010 Honorable Mention

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MUSLIM-AMERICAN HISTORY by Edward E. Curtis IV, editor (Facts on File, 2010)

2009 Award Winner

THE IRANIAN REVOLUTION by Brendan January (Twenty-First Century Books, 2008)

2009 Honorable Mentions

THE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF ARABIA by Mary Beardwood (Stacey International Publishing, 2009)

THE MIDDLE EAST TODAY; POLITICAL, GEOGRAPHICAL & CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES by Dona J. Stewart (Routledge, 2008)

2008 Award Winner

EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN FROM THE MUSLIM WORLD by Natalie Maydell and Sep Riahi, illustrated by Heba Amin (Global Content Ventures, 2007)

2007 Award Winners

IRAQ (MODERN WORLD NATION SERIES) by Dale Lightfoot, Charles F. Gritzner, series editor (Chelsea House Publishers, 2007)

OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS: IRAN  (OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS SERIES), Laura K. Egendorf, editor (Greenhaven Press, 2006)

2006 Award Winners

THE ILLUSTRATOR’S NOTEBOOK by Mohieddin Ellabbad (Groundwood Books, 2006)

2006 Honorable Mentions

GREAT MUSLIM PHILOSOPHERS AND SCIENTISTS IN THE MIDDLE AGES series (Rosen Publishing Group, 2006). Includes: Albucasis (Abu al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi): Renowned Muslim Surgeon of the Tenth Century by Fred Ramen; Averroes (Ibn Rushd): Muslim Scholar, Philosopher, and Physician of the Twelfth Century by Liz Sonneborn; Avicenna (Ibn Sina): Muslim Physician and Philosopher of the Eleventh Century by Aisha Khan; Al-Biruni: Master Astronomer and Muslim Scholar of the Eleventh Century by Bill Scheppler; Al-Khwarizmi: The Inventor of Algebra by Corona Brezina; and Al-Kindi: The Father of Arab Philosophy by Tony Abboud

LEBANON A to Z: A MIDDLE EASTERN MOSAIC by Marijean Boueri, Jill Boutros, and Joanne Sayad, illustrated by Tatiana Sabbagh (Publishing Works, 2005)

2005 Award Winner

HISTORICAL ATLAS OF ISLAM by Malise Ruthven and Azim Nanji (Harvard University Press, 2004)

2004 Award Winner

MOSQUE by David Macaulay (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003)

TEEN LIFE IN THE MIDDLE EAST by Ali Akbar Mahdi, editor (Greenwood Press, 2003)

2004 Honorable Mentions

WITNESS TO HISTORY: AFGHANISTAN by David Downing (Heinemann Library, 2004)

A HISTORY OF THE MUSLIM WORLD TO 1405: THE MAKING OF A CIVILIZATION by Vernon O. Egger (Prentice Hall, 2003)

2003 Award Winner

WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST: TRADITION AND CHANGE by Ramsay Harik and Elsa Marston (revised edition, Franklin Watts, 2003)

2001 Award Winner

ISLAM by Sue Penney (World Beliefs and Cultures series, Heinemann Library, 2000)

 

Download a printable PDF of the complete list here:

MEOC Book Awards List 2016

 

 

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