Okay, so I love any story where the librarian helps out and gives good advice. And that is just what happens when Lailah has a hard time explaining to her teacher and classmates about Ramadan. She is excited to be old enough to fast during the holiday, but also worried that everyone at school won't understand. Mrs. Carman, the librarian, has the perfect solution. "You know what I always do when I can't get my thoughts out or when I get shy about talking? asked Mrs. Carman. "I write my thoughts down." And that is just what Lailah does, writing a note to the teacher and also composing a poem about Ramadan.
I was fortunate enough to meet author Reem Faruqi at ALA Midwinter this year. She wrote the story of Lailah based on her own childhood experience of moving from Abu Dabhi to Peachtree City, Georgia and facing the challenge of explaining Ramadan to her new friends. Stories that celebrate cultural diversity and also show others being respectful of those beliefs are a wonderful find. The way the teacher and librarian both support Lailah and help her to feel comfortable is a good example for readers.