DAY OF AHMED'S SECRET: A Picture Book For Egypt

With all eyes on Cairo, Egypt today, here's a book written some years ago (1995) that might help us introduce the city to children, followed by links to some discussion guides. Any suggestions for new titles of fiction set in contemporary Egypt?

by Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gillilan
Illustrated by Ted Lewin
HarperCollins, 1995
ISBN: 0-590-45029-8

Browse inside this book

From Publishers Weekly: In this admirable introduction to life in an alien culture, readers are whisked to the busy streets of Cairo—where young Ahmed is making his daily rounds on a donkey cart, delivering large canisters of butane gas. The city is presented through his eyes, and text and illustration work together in harmony to produce a sense of place so vivid that readers can almost hear the cry of vendors in the crowded marketplace and feel the heat rising from the streets. On this particular day, Ahmed carries a secret with him (he has learned to write his name in Arabic), one children will enjoy trying to guess. The authors have produced fluid prose, and Lewin's sensitive, luminous watercolors hint at the mystery and timelessness of this exotic city. Ages 6-9.

Teaching About Egypt: Ideas from Bernadette Simpson
Homeschool Lesson Plan
Classroom Lesson Plan


Sayantani said…
Thanks for posting this Mitali! I don't know other Egypt kids books but will post this to my FB - I have a friend who might suggest some. My adult go-to Egyptian writer is of course the wonderful Nawal El-Saadwi (Woman at Point Zero, Notes from the Women's Prison)
Thanks for the suggestion, Mitali. After reading about it here, I got the book from my library. I just posted about it on my blog.
Thanks for suggesting my website about Egypt, Mitali!

It is very difficult to find English language literature about modern Egypt. There are some titles (mostly nonfiction, but some fiction) available from - more titles are available locally of course, but still not many.

If you visit the link Mitali posted above to my "Teaching Ideas", you'll find a downloadable list I've compiled of books set in or related to modern Egypt.

The ARUBA stories are my favorite!
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