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Arabic Quilt, The


Arabic Quilt, The



2021 Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book

2021 NCTE Charlotte Huck Recommended Book

2020 Book Riot Best Book

2021 Ohio Floyd’s Pick Book Award Honor Book

2021 Notable Social Studies Trade Book, CBC

Selected for Oprah Daily’s Twenty Diverse Kids’ Reads

A Teaching for Change Selection


Kanzi's family has moved from Egypt to America, and on her first day in a new school, what she wants more than anything is to fit in. Maybe that's why she forgets to take the kofta sandwich her mother has made for her lunch, but that backfires when Mama shows up at school with the sandwich. Mama wears a hijab and calls her daughter Habibti (dear one). When she leaves, the teasing starts.

That night, Kanzi wraps herself in the beautiful Arabic quilt her teita (grandma) in Cairo gave her and writes a poem in Arabic about the quilt. Next day her teacher sees the poem and gets the entire class excited about creating a "quilt" (a paper collage) of student names in Arabic. In the end, Kanzi's most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one.  

This authentic story with beautiful illustrations includes a glossary of Arabic words and a presentation of Arabic letters with their phonetic English equivalents.

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