• A Little Piece of Ground

    by Elizabeth Laird

    A story of the Second Intifada that demonizes and dehumanizes Israelis has no place in education. Yet that is exactly what Elizabeth Laird’s A Little Piece of Ground, now required reading in Newark public schools, does.

  • Amazing Women of the Middle East: 25 Stories from Ancient Times to Present Day

    by Wafa Tarnowska



    Young readers deserve to learn about talented, ambitious women, but erasing Israel from the map and Jewish women from the Middle East falsifies history and geography.

  • Code Name: Butterfly

    by Ahlam Bsharat, translated by Nancy Roberts

    A novel for teens that idolizes terrorists as martyrs and erases Israeli suffering inverts the realities of the Middle East conflict.  It doesn’t belong in the hands of impressionable young readers.

  • Determined to Stay

    by Jody Sokolower

    The book is based on visits Jody Sokolower and her daughter Ericka made to Israel and the West Bank to “research” the situation of Arabs in East Jerusalem. It is a propagandistic book informed by Sokolower’s pre-existing bias – she promotes BDS against Israel – rather than by any objective research.

  • Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine

    by Hannah Moushabeck, illustrated by Reem Madooh

    The author’s nostalgic account of her father’s childhood in East Jerusalem is marred by a pernicious agenda: To erase Israel, Jews, and Hebrew from Jerusalem and prejudice young readers against Israel.

  • P is For Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book

    by Golbarg Bashi, illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi

    Reading a good picture book with a child can be a joyful experience. But picture books that privilege indoctrination over imagination aren’t really literature. They betray the bond of trust between adult and child.

  • They Called Me a Lioness: A Palestinian Girl’s Fight for Freedom

    by Ahed Tamimi and Dena Takruri

    Ahed Tamimi is not a model of nonviolent resistance — what she describes as an unarmed “grassroots resistance movement” was actually quite violent — but young readers with no background knowledge about the Middle East will be easily misled by her deceptive autobiography.

  • Wishing Upon the Same Stars

    by Jacquetta Nammar Feldman

    Children’s books aiming at even-handedness on the Arab-Israeli conflict usually fail – as novels, because they’re didactic, and as political tracts, because they’re inaccurate. This book is a case in point.

Featured author: Naomi shihab nye

Maligning Israel for young readers

The books we read as children stay with us all our lives. In our earliest stories, big, bad wolves threaten innocent children – and few of us grow up with warm, fuzzy feelings about wolves. Replace that wolf with an Israeli soldier, and you have an indelible image. That is the danger of the writings of Palestinian-American children’s poet and novelist Naomi Shihab Nye.