Amazing Women of the Middle East: 25 Stories from Ancient Times to Present Day

Crocodile. Sept. 2020. 112p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781623718701.
Gr 5-8–This collection describes 25 notable women who lived in the Middle East, from ancient times through the present. Many of the women are prominent political leaders and social activists; others are innovative artists, poets, astronauts, scientists, and athletes. Historical and public figures are highlighted, such as Nefertiti, Cleopatra, Lebanese British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, and Nadia Murad, who is a Yazidi Iraqi and received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. Each profile begins with an introduction and illustrated portrait followed by two pages of text, ending with an inspirational quote. The sections about the Queen of Sheba and Sheherazade are stylized like folktales with character dialogue, providing an entertaining reading experience. The rest of the biographies are written as informational articles, but the conversational tone will engage readers. The colorful artwork enhances the text. Using distinctive styles and design elements, five different illustrators bring the women to life. The beginning of the text features a map of the Middle East, which includes Palestine. A glossary is included in the back matter.
VERDICT Recommended for upper elementary and middle school libraries looking to expand their collected biographies or women’s history nonfiction sections.

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