These recommended resources are intended for everyone, unless otherwise specified.
Image source: https://thrivekidsbc.ca
“BACK HOME is the story about a young Muslim girl who had to flee from her Middle Eastern home town and settle in a Western Country. Through experiences in her day- to – day life, she realizes that the values her faith does not differ from those of her new culture.” For a more detailed book description, visit https://thrivekidsbc.ca/my-book-1.
Author info: Shaista Kaba Fatehali is a Canadian Ismaili Muslim, a kindergarten teacher, and the founder of THRIVE KIDS!, an organization that helps children discover their inner strengths, the identity, and their sense of purpose. She is currently completing her PhD in early childhood education, and lives with her husband and daughter in Burnaby, British Columbia. You can visit THRIVE KIDS! At https://thrivekidsbc.ca.
“Shaista Kaba Fatehali does an impressive job at capturing the difficulty that young children face when leaving a home they have known all their lives as they settle in new, different, and at times foreign places. Through Asha, the little heroine of Back Home, we see the encounter between the familiar and the unfamiliar. While Asha reminisces on her life back home, she embodies and exemplifies the spirit of adventure, possibility, and openness that young children are so well known for. As she recounts experiences of her old life, she also finds that values such as kindness, friendship, and patience are also shared by the new friends she meets in her classroom. Back Home is very much the story of coming home. We see through Asha not only the difficulty of settling in a new place, making new friends, adjusting ourselves to new surroundings, but also the possibilities that emerge when an open heart and an open mind come into contact with others who also share similar dispositions.
This book is great reading material for any child experiencing the difficulties that come with displacement as it exemplifies the opportunities that emerge when we see our universal humanity across lines of difference. It is also important material for young children living in places where immigration and migration are increasing in pace as it will allow them to understand how this diversity also brings about new opportunities to learn more about who we are by learning more about others.”
Book review by Alim Fakirani, CCRL Subject Matter Expert
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Other recommended resources
This list of graphic novels can be a resource for the public and parents. Some novels describe characters meeting these traditions for the first time. Others describe life as someone in a specific religious and non-religious community.
For educators and students, these are great resources for: language arts, visual or graphic art classes, social studies/sciences, world history, politics, civics, economics, and world religion courses. The novels vary in length and include books appropriate from K to 12.
- Hats of Faith (Medeia Cohen and Sarah Walsh): A short picture book (not graphic novel) introducing children to the different head coverings across many religious traditions
- Pyongyang (Guy Delisle): Atheism, state and communism in North Korea
- Dawn land (Bruchac and Davis): Traditions and survival in Ndakina (modern day New England), includes Abenaki beliefs
- River of stories (Orjit Sen): Environment, social, and political issues in India, includes indigenous beliefs. Only available online: https://www.scribd.com/doc/19966450/River-of-Stories-a-comic-by-Orijit-Sen
Traditions originating from East-Asia (e.g. Confucianism and Daoism):
- Shenzhen (Guy Delisle): Belief and culture in China, includes Confuciansim, Daoism, and a little bit of Christianity
- Little white duck: A childhood in China ( Liu and Martinez) Belief and culture in early years of Communist China, includes Confuciansim and Daoism
Traditions originating from South-Asia (e.g. Hinduism and Buddhism):
- Chronique Birmanes (Guy Delisle): Tradition and culture in Myanmar, includes Buddhism. (In French)
- Tina’s mouth: an existential comic diary (Keshni Kashyap): Culture and belief in the US, includes Hinduism
- The hospital suite (John Porcellino): Belief and death in US, includes Buddhism and Christianity – presents 3 perspectives of same story
- Sita’s Ramayana (Samhita Arni and Moyna Chitrakar): Presents a female perspective to the Hindu story of Ramayana
Traditions originating from the Middle-East (e.g. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam):
- Jerusalem (Guy Delisle): Religion, politics and security in Jerusalem, includes Christianity, Islam, Judaism
- The Arab of the future: A childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984 (Riad Sattouf): Perspectives towards religion across France, Libya, and Syria, includes Islam
- Zahra’s Paradise (Amir and Khalil): Religion and politics in Iran circa 2009, includes Islam
- Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi): Religion and politics in Iran, includes Islam
- Louis Riel: A comic-strip biography (Chester Brown): Identity, beliefs, and politics in Canada, includes Christianity
- A game for swallows: To die, to leave, to return (Zeina Abirached): Identity and politics in Lebanon, includes Christianity and Islam
- Maus I: My father bleeds history (Mid-1930s to Winter 1944) (Art Spiegelman): Identity and politics in Poland, includes Judaism.
- Maus II: And here my troubles began (Art Spiegelman): A struggle with understanding his own Jewish identity and that of his ancestors.
- American born Chinese (Gene Yang): Identity and belonging, includes Chinese folkore of the Monkey King and limited aspects of Christianity
- Contract with God (Will Eisner): Identity and death, includes Judaism. Read p. 4-61.
- Habibi (Craig Thompson): Identity and survival, includes Islam and Christianity.
- Goliath (Tom Gould): Offers an alternate perspective to the story of David and Goliath.