Time to Pray – Maha Addasi

time to pray
image from amazon.com


  • Age Range: 7 – 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 – 4
  • Lexile Measure: 770
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press; Bilingual edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590786114
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590786116


EXCERPT from goodreads.com:

Yasmin is visiting her grandmother, who lives in a country somewhere in the Middle East. On her first night, she’s wakened by the muezzin at the nearby mosque calling the faithful to prayer, and Yasmin watches from her bed as her grandmother prepares to pray. A visit with Grandmother is always special, but this time it is even more so. Her grandmother makes Yasmin prayer clothes, buys her a prayer rug, and teaches her the five prayers that Muslims perform over the course of a day. When it’s time for Yasmin to board a plane and return home, her grandmother gives her a present that her granddaughter opens when she arrives: a prayer clock in the shape of a mosque, with an alarm that sounds like a muezzin calling the faithful to prayer. Maha Addasi’s warm and endearing story is richly illustrated by Ned Gannon. Features a text in English and Arabic, and includes an author’s note and glossary.


Notable Acknowledgements: 2011 Arab American Book Award Nominee for Children’s/ Young Adult


Rationale for Inclusion: With the growing Muslim population in the United States and Canada, it is becoming increasingly important for us to provide books where young Muslim children can see themselves reflected. This book does just that as it attempts to provide a mirror where Muslim children can see elements of their lifestyles and cultures being depicted in popular fiction. This book also offers non-Muslim and non-Middle Eastern children an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and insights about Middle Eastern culture and the religion of Islam. The wonderful art illustrated in this book also helps to depict Middle Eastern culture and gives children a chance to explore their imagination and really put themselves in the shoes of Yasmin, the protagonist of the story.

This book has also been written bilingually and incorporates both English and Arabic. I like how the author includes an author’s note and glossary at the end and goes into detail about the practice of prayer in the Islamic faith. I feel that this further gives children a window into the Middle Eastern culture and Islam. In light of the negative societal stereotypes about Islam, books like these are particularly important so that children can get a genuine understanding about what the Islamic religion is all about, which can help them to develop an appreciation for the diversity that Muslims have to offer.

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