The Day of Ahmed's Secret

The Day of Ahmed's Secret
by Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gillilan
Illustrated by Ted Lewin
HarperCollins, 1995
ISBN: 0-590-45029-8

With Egypt in the news so much lately, your students or children may be like my son- asking questions. While the political situation is complex, this book offers a simple slice-of-life story that gives readers a window into what life is like in Cairo for one little boy. Both of my children have read it and taken different things from it. My daughter (age 5) simply took in the story while my son (age 8) was able to connect this story to the wider situation in Egypt and the region. We've taken the globe out several times and located Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen as events continue to unfold.

This book reminds me that revolutions are about people. While Ahmend is a fictional character, I can imagine how his life might be affected by current events. Ahmed is like any other kid living in Cairo, working for a better life.

Ted Lewin's art is stunning, as always. My children's understanding of Egypt was equally informed by the art as by the text. While I've never been to Egypt, I have been to Morocco. The two countries share many similarities. As I looked at the illustrations I was transported to North Africa once again.

(Thanks to Mitali Perkins for introducing me to this book on her blog. Through Mitali's blog, I also found this list of other books about Egypt for children through young adults).

Do you know of any other books for children about Egypt? Please share them.