Missing character in kids' literature: Muslims
Minnesota educators struggle to find books, especially fiction, depicting Muslim young people in America. NORMAN DRAPER, Star Tribune
As the Muslim student population grows in Minnesota, some educators detect a glaring gap: a dearth of books the students can relate to and from which others can learn.
"There wasn't a whole lot in our library that provided a sense of 'this is what's normal,'" said Julie Scullen, a reading intervention specialist at Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids, where she took stock of books about Muslims growing up in America.
When colleague Beth Braun, a Northdale media specialist, launched a full-blown national search, she didn't have much luck, either.
"The books are more about what it's like to live in another country and be a Muslim, or what it's like to be from a war-torn nation, not what it's like to be a teenager in America and be a Muslim," Braun said. "Those books are few and far between."