All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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A video interview with

Naomi Shihab Nye

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Naomi Shihab Nye is an award-winning poet and author. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she draws frequently upon her Palestinian-American heritage as well as her travels around the country and the world for inspiration in her writing, which celebrates the details of daily life while exploring broader humanitarian themes. In this interview, Nye describes her bicultural childhood in Ferguson, MO and discusses The Turtle of Oman, her novel about a young boy preparing to emigrate to America. She talks about the themes of the story that have resonated with students and teachers across the country, including fear of change and preparing to welcome new immigrants.

Selected Books

from Naomi Shihab Nye

Going Going

Age Level: 12-14

A plot about the importance of “shopping locally”, this book also stresses the importance of getting involved.

Buy Going Going

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East

Age Level: 12-14

These beautiful poems reflect both the Middle East and the Arab-American experience. Nye is a renowned poet for young people, and this collection revolves around her heritage.

Buy 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East


Age Level: 12-14

The day after Liyana got her first real kiss, her life changed forever. Not because of the kiss, but because it was the day her father announced that the family was moving from St. Louis all the way to Palestine. Though her father grew up there, Liyana knows very little about her family's Arab heritage. Her grandmother and the rest of her relatives who live in the West Bank are strangers, and speak a language she can't understand. It isn't until she meets Omer that her homesickness fades. But Omer is Jewish, and their friendship is silently forbidden in this land.

Buy Habibi

The Turtle of Oman

Age Level: 9-12

This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration. It tells the story of Aref Al-Amri, who must say good-bye to everything and everyone he loves in his hometown of Muscat, Oman, as his family prepares to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Aref does not want to leave Oman, his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Siddi. Finally, his mother calls Siddi for help so that Aref will pack. But rather than pack, Aref and Siddi go on a series of adventures.

Buy The Turtle of Oman