2 Books About Eid al-Adha to Share With Young Readers

These titles take a look at two traditions around the Muslim holiday that commemorates the story of Ibrahim (Abraham).

Eid al-Adha, "Festival of Sacrifice" in Arabic, is a Muslim holiday that commemorates the story of Ibrahim (Abraham), who was going to sacrifice his son when God asked him to. In the end, Ibrahim sacrificed an animal that God provided instead. These books take a look at two traditions around the Muslim holiday.


I’ll See You in Ijebu by Bunmi Emenanjo. illus. by Diana Ejaita. Barefoot. ISBN 9781646868438. 
Gr 3-8–A book that teaches readers about Eid al-Adha, while enchanting them with a special story. A young girl is in a car on the way to Baba’s house in Ijebu. It takes a long time to get to Baba’s house, so readers know this isn’t a frequent trip but a treasured journey to be with loved ones. Once there, it is the smell of Baba rising “slowly from his seat…his scent of native black soap and mothballs” that surrounds the girl in an embrace she wants to remember. In the beginning, readers are transported to a hot, sweaty traffic jam with the smell of “crunchy dundun and sweet puff puff frying” that makes the girl’s stomach growl. This humanizing moment—loud and embarrassing and funny, all at the same time—is relatable for readers, who will automatically be enamored from this point. Emenanjo writes like a veteran, with words that cling to thoughts and resonate with all the senses: the sounds and smells linger. VERDICT A story to be read again and again. Good for the entire family, and a must-have for middle school libraries.Christina Paolozzi 

 Sami’s Special Gift: An Eid al-Adha Story by M.O Yuksel. illus. by Hüseyin Sönmezay. Charlesbridge. ISBN 9781623542962. 
PreS-Gr 2–A gift to all readers! Sami’s special day starts with a gift from his late grandfather, mosque for prayers and a buffet; a stop at the butcher to get food to share with a local homeless shelter; and, finally, a carnival to celebrate the holiday. Readers who celebrate Eid al-Adha will enjoy seeing their annual tradition, while readers who do not practice Islam will get a peek into a modern way to celebrate an ancient holiday. Young readers will enjoy the colorful illustrations and following the journey Sami takes with his younger sister Sara throughout the day. Adults will love to use this story as a model to broach conversations about traditions, as well as deeper themes of loss, philanthropy, and homelessness. Back matter contains a glossary and definitions of Eid al-Adha and homeless shelters. VERDICT An easy recommendation for all libraries. Add it to elementary and high school shelves.Samantha Hull 

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