The Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People is an annual project of the National (Canadian) Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council. This bibliography features K-12 annotated titles published in the previous calendar year, selected by a book review committee appointed by the NCSS.
An annual reading list of exceptional books for use in social studies classrooms, selected by social studies educators has been released for 2019. This list is extensive, much of it progressive in nature and includes books on alternative lifestyles, discrimination, notable people in history and more. You will find the list here.
What we found interesting is that several of these books focused on or touched Islamic themes and traditions; Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes, by Hena KhanOne, Marwan’s Journey, by Patricia de Arias, Saffron Ice Cream, by Rashin Kheiriyeh, Someone New, written and illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien, Mommy’s Khimar, by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, Thread Of Love, by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal;, First Generation: 36 Trailblazing Immigrants and Refugees Who Make America Great, Escape From Aleppo, by N. H. Senzai , Amal Unbound, by Aisha Saeed, Betty Before X, by Ilyasah Shabazz , Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card, by Sara Saedi , Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani .
One particular book that stood out was a book called Ramadan, The Holy Month of Fasting by Ausma Zehanat Khan.
The introduction to this book is as follows:
”The month of Ramadan offers the opportunity to improve one’s personal and spiritual behavior. By focusing on positive thoughts and actions, Muslims build a closer connection with God and come away from the month feeling spiritually renewed. Ramadan: The Holy Month of Fasting explores the richness and diversity of the Islamic tradition by focusing on an event of great spiritual significance and beauty in the lives of Muslims. Rich with personal stories and stunning photographs, Ramadan demystifies the traditions and emphasizes the importance of diversity in a world where Islamophobia is on the rise.”
See the link here.
Not only is this book teaching about Islamic tradition in the classroom setting, it is being used to teach about and fight against Islamophobia by teaching the ‘positive’ aspects of Ramadan.
Ramadan Arabic: رمضان is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting(Sawm) to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths.
Indoctrination of Canadian school children on the most important festival of the Islamic calendar, as well as warning about ‘Islamophobia’ is concerning indeed.
Note: There are no other religious books included in the recommended list, specific to a certain religion.