Ramadan is coming. Leena is excited about fasting along with her family this year, although she is still too young to fast every day during the Muslim holy month. Leena decides to fast on the day her aunt will be visiting, so that, together, the whole family can share the Iftar dinner, eaten when the fast is broken.
Then Leena receives an invitation to a classmate’s party, which is being held on that same day. Now she has a dilemma. She doesn’t want to miss the party, but she doesn’t want to miss fasting either. So Leena decides to go to the party but still fast and not eat or drink; she will join her family for the meal known as Iftar, when the daily fast is broken.
But when Leena, who is the only Muslim child at the party, sees her friends enjoying fresh lemonade and chocolate cake, she feels thirsty and her stomach starts to growl. She gets tired from the outdoor activities and her head begins to hurt.
Will she keep fasting?
Asma Mobin-Uddin’s charming story of a young Muslim girl determined to do the right thing is warmly illustrated by Laura Jacobsen.Reviews
"With lively pastel-and-pencil artwork, this warm picture book shows and tells the observance and meaning of Ramadan through the viewpoint of a Muslim child in a diverse neighborhood. ... The blend of the upbeat and challenging moments will spark discussion, and a final note fills in more about the holy month and what it means." ~Booklist
"This is a beautiful tale of a child grasping her identity yet being able to embrace the differences around her. ... This is a perfect resource for teaching about choices, sharing, and empathy. Throughout the engaging story, readers are acquainted with Islamic practice. Jacobsen’s skillful, gentle images show harmony in diversity." ~School Library Journal
"…There’s plenty of information for non-Muslims embedded in the text, illustrations, and author’s note, and plenty of encouragement and comfort in the message for children celebrating Ramadan among those of other (or no) faiths." ~The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"This is a compassionate family story that functions beautifully as both mirror for Muslim-American children and window for their non-Muslim friends. ... A worthwhile addition to the still-too-sparse literature for children about Muslim-Americans." ~Kirkus Reviews
“If you’re a Muslim who grew up in the United States, you probably remember the first day you had to fast at school while your friends were not fasting. And if you’re a Muslim parent whose child grew up in the United States, you probably remember the first day your child fasted while their friends weren’t. Reading A Party in Ramadan
by Asma Mobin-Udin will surely bring back those memories, and you will easily connect with the main character, Leena… A Party in Ramadan
will surprise you with its delightful ending. It goes beyond whether or not Leena keeps her fast, but also addresses community bonding and teaching our neighbors about our faith. The illustrations by Laura Jacobsen are warm and capture the essence of a Muslim family during Ramadan. A Party in Ramadan
is a great read for children – especially those about to start fasting or who have been fasting for a few years. And as for adults, it’s nice to remember what it was like, or to remember how it will be for your children.” ~InFocus News (the largest Muslim newspaper in California)
“…Although her mother assures her that she can postpone or even omit the fast due to her age, Leena’s determined to have it both ways. With her mother’s approval, she attends the party, where she enjoys the pony ride and games. The other party-goers treat her fast with respect, but hunger, thirst, and a general feeling of being odd-kid-out do rip much of the fun out of the experience. Once home, her parent’s proud approbation, the prospect of a delicious and well-earned Iftar dinner, and the quiet confidence in her own self-discipline turn the trying day into triumph, and the arrival of Julia and her mom with leftover birthday cake attests to community affection and support. The story itself is a carefully constructed and sweetly iced literary confection, but there’s plenty of information for non-Muslims embedded in the text, illustrations, and author’s note, and plenty of encouragement and comfort in the message for children celebrating Ramadan among those of other (or no) faiths.” ~The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Recepient of the 2009 Parent’s Choice Award (Approved Category)