Lailah's Lunchbox by Reem Faruqi Book Review

Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story by Reem Faruqi
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Release Date: May 1, 2015

Lailah is finally old enough to fast during the month of Ramadan like her family and friends, but finding a way to explain that to her teacher and classmates in Atlanta is difficult. She wants to tell them because she is proud, but since they are all non-Muslim, will they understand? Mr. Scrabble, the librarian, has some good advice for her though and is able to help her tell her friends about her beliefs.

I wish I had run into this book last July during Ramadan, but alas I did not, so I must review it now in hopes that people will find it in time for the next year. The author, like Lailah, had the same experience as her young character. Moving is difficult enough, but when you start adding in language, culture, and religion, things can get hard. What I love about this book is that rather than be a didactic story to teach children about Ramadan, it serves two functions. The first is to teach, but this book can also be used for children who are having a difficult time in a new place as someone of a minority faith. There are quite a few children who may be able to relate to this story and some who may never feel comfortable sharing theirs, but this is a wonderful little book that definitely deserves attention for all students, Muslim and not.