Naji and the Mystery of the Dig

Uncover Persian cuisine, folklore, history, geography, religion, and language!


What is it?

One summer morning, eight-year old Naji woke up to an unusual sound. Three strangers were digging in her courtyard. Naji’s sixth sense warned her: something suspicious was lurking down there.

As events unfold and suspense rises, readers will enjoy the many colors of Persian culture, cuisine, folklore, history, geography, religion, language, and intrigue through Naji’s eyes and heart. Will Naji’s persistence reveal the source of her suspicions? Or will whatever lurks in the abyss remain a mystery forever?

Why is it cool?

Learning about other cultures helps children to better understand others. To augment the educational aspect of this award-winning mystery novel, the author, Vahid Imani, has included a study section in the back of the book for parents and educators to encourage children to dig for more discoveries. In addition, the book has a website with fun and educational information about Middle Eastern culture and cuisine.

Unfamiliar words and phrases are highlighted in italics indicating that a definition has been provided at the back of the book. Each definition goes into detail offering an interesting bit of background which further enhances the interest and educational value of this enticing book.

The book is also autographed by the author!


Suggested activities to compliment this novel:

  • Children can prepare and serve Persian meals by following a recipe. 
  • Find Iran on the world map. 
  • Print a black and white copy of a map, have children color in surrounding countries that make up the Middle East. 
  • Talk about time zones: What time is it now in the city of Tehran, where the story takes place? 
  • Have children explore the Persian language by having them practice saying common phrases in Persian such as good morning and goodbye.

Click here to learn more about the Naji Stories.



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