This nonfiction volume, part of the Origins series on holidays, introduces Muslims’ month of fasting and gives a taste of how it is celebrated around the world.
Khan opens the volume with a personal anecdote of her first attempt at fasting, when she was 9 years old, and the lessons she has since learned about the fast. She goes on to explain the main tenets of the Islamic faith and how Ramadan fits into the belief system, including information about lunar calendars as compared to solar calendars. With the basic facts established, the author goes into more detail about the stages of the month of Ramadan, specific ways in which Muslims give back to their communities during the month, and samples of Ramadan traditions from countries around the world. The book is generously illustrated with stock photographs of people of many ethnic backgrounds and nationalities observing Ramadan, as well as places that are important to Muslims. Each chapter ends with a one-page story showcasing one child’s experience of Ramadan. Included throughout the book in sidebars are children’s quotes about what the month means to them, traditional stories, facts, and recipes. Words defined in the glossary are italicized in the text. The personal perspectives elevate this volume above an average informational book; readers, both non-Muslims and Muslims, can step into the shoes of someone from another background.
Wide in scope and personal in presentation, this book is a good choice for learning about Muslims’ traditions as expressed in various cultures. (author’s note, series editor’s note, glossary, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 9-14)