For Elementary-Aged Kids
Count Your Way Through Afghanistan by Jim Haskins & Kathleen Benson – This book will give your kids a good intro about Afghan culture and many of Afghanistan’s unique features. It was simple and kept both of my kid’s attention. We also loved learning to count to 10 in Pashto, one of the major languages of Afghanistan. This is a great introductory book.
I See the Sun in Afghanistan by Dodie King – I wish I would have know about this book when we did our project. It’s a perfect choice because it tells about the culture through the eyes of a child. I may now have read this book, but my friend Becky at Kid World Citizen recently reviewed it. Find her review here.
A True Book: Afghanistan by Ann Heinrichs – I love this series of books for the basic, age-appropriate introduction it gives about each country of the world. It may be a bit long for a younger child, but it’s easy to summarize and it has a lot of great photos.
Tweens and Teens
Extra Credit by Andrew Clements (appropriate for grades 3 through 7) – Sixth grader, Abby Carson, hates doing homework. But, when she finds out she’s in danger of being held back, she agrees to do an extra credit project, writing to a pen pal in another country. The letters flow back and forth between Abby and her pen pal, Sadeed and his sister Amira, from Afghanistan. This is a fantastic book that shows that despite cultural differences, we’re all the same. Read this one together if you’re looking for a book that will spark a lot of great conversations.
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis (appropriate for grades 5 and up) – This book was good friends, really good. It’s the story of 11-year-old Parvana, who is living under the Taliban regime in Kabul, Afghanistan. After her father is arrested, Parvana is the only person in the family that is able to work and provide money. She’s only able to do this because she can disguise herself as a boy. The story is engaging and eye-opening. It’s a must read. Note: This is the first book in a trilogy. I have not yet read the other two, Parvana’s Journey and Mud City, but they are on my must-read list.
You can find our Afghanistan art project, watercolor tiles, here.