Help Me Help a Librarian Find Arabic YA (Young Adult) Titles

A librarian in search of Arabic “young adult” literature (for children 13+) has been stymied in her searches. Of course, there are translations of Twilight and suchlike, but as for YA lit originally written in Arabic, I had the following not-very-helpful list:

1. حينما كان للشوارع أسماء — رندة عبد الفتاح

From Bloomsbury-Qatar, Palestinian-Australian Randa Abdel-Fattah’s best-selling When the Streets Had a Name. (Yes, this is a translation, but at least it takes place in the Arabic-speaking world….)

For 13+.

2. فاتن — فاطمة شرف الدين

Award-winning children’s author Fatima Sharafeddine has a YA novel, فاتن, that should’ve been out by now, but I believe it’s been delayed until later in the year. Sharafeddine has said it should be ready in time for the Beirut book fair this December.

More about the book on Sharafeddine’s website: http://fatimasharafeddine.com/Young-Adults.html

3. يوميات هر — إملي نصراللّه

I’m not really sure if this IBBY honor title is YA or middle grade (I suspect middle grade?) as my eldest was quite small when I glanced at it in a bookstore, and such distinctions were far from my mind. But award-winning Emily Nasrallah has two other books that I believe are YA: جزيرة الوهم and الباهرة.

You can read more about them on her website.

4. سوار الذهب — قيس صدقي

I’m also not sure if this counts as YA or middle grade (probably middle grade?) but Qais Sedki’s graphic novel, Gold Ring / سوار الذهب, won last year’s Sheikh Zayed.

Buy it from Amazon.com or read more about it on Wikipedia.

Please help out my librarian-friend with more suggested titles…!

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2 Responses to Help Me Help a Librarian Find Arabic YA (Young Adult) Titles

  1. Balsam Saad says:

    Hello Marcia,
    The titles you mentioned are great.
    Can we also tempt your librarian friend with a visit to the bookstore to check out the long lists of a wide number of Arab publishers. Quite a number of them have some contribution in this area.
    Furthermore, although originally Arabic young adult fiction is not plentiful, however it can be complemented with:
    1. Some classic original Arabic titles, e.g. titles by Taha Hussein, Youssef El Seba3ei, Tawfik El Hakim and others.
    2. A selection of new titles targeted to adults that can also be suitable for youth. With some effort this can be a considerable list.
    A long list can be prepared for her but nothing beats an actual visit🙂

    There is also certainly a long list of good translated literature – classic and new – by various publishers.
    Best wishes.
    Balsam

  2. You may want to also try asking librarians on HelpaLibrarian.com.

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