Stories of the Middle East

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.” – William Faulkner, American writer
Where the Streets
Abdel-Fattah, Randa. Where the Streets Had a Name. Scholastic Press, 2010, c2008.
“Thirteen-year-old Hayaat of Bethlehem faces check points, curfews, and the travel permit system designed to keep people on the West Bank when she attempts to go to her grandmother’s ancestral home in Jerusalem with her best friend.” – CIP.
Broken Bridge
Banks, Lynne Reid. Broken Bridge. London: Puffin, 1997, c1994.
“Nimrod and Nili are two Jewish teenagers growing up on a kibbutz. Their mother Lesley, goes to meet Nili on her return from a trip to London, and at Ben Gurion airport, learns that Nili’s plane has been blown up by terrorists. But Nili never boarded the plane, prevented by a mysterious stranger.” – CIP
“We must have our say, not through violence, aggression or fear. We must speak out calmly and forcefully. We shall only be able to enter the new world era if we agree to engage in dialogue with the other side.” Tahar Ben Jelloun, Moroccan writer
Tasting the Sky
Barakat, Ibtisam. Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
“In this memoir set in Ramallah during the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, Ibtisam Barakat captures what it is like to be a child whose world is shattered by war.” – CIP
Carmi, Daniella. Samir and Yonatan. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, c2000.
“Samir, a Palestinian boy, is sent for surgery to an Israeli hospital where he has two otherworldly experiences, making friends with an Israeli boy, Yonatan, and traveling with him to Mars where Samir finds peace over his younger brother’s death in the war.” – CIP.
“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein
The Shepherd's Granddaughter
Carter, Ann Laurel. The Shepherd’s Granddaughter. Toronto: Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press, 2008.
“Amani longs to be a shepherd like her grandfather, Seedo. Like many Palestinians, her family has grazed sheep above the olive groves of the family homestead for generations, and she has been steeped in Seedo’s stories, especially one about a secret meadow called the Firdoos–and the wolf that once showed him the path there.” – CIP.
A Stone in My Hand
Clinton, Cathryn. A Stone in My Hand. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2004, c2002.
“Eleven-year-old Malaak and her family are touched by the violence in Gaza between Jews and Palestinians when first her father disappears and then her older brother is drawn to a radical group.” – CIP. 
“Our object must be to bring our territory into harmony with the numbers of our population.” – Adolf Hitler
Three Wishes
Ellis, Deborah. Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2004.
“Young people between the ages of eleven and eighteen share what it is like to live in the midst of the upheaval and violence of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.” – CIP.
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Real Time
Kass, Pnina Moed.  Real Time.  New York: Clarion Books, 2004.
“Sixteen-year-old Tomas Wanninger persuades his mother to let him leave Germany to volunteer at a kibbutz in Israel, where he experiences a violent political attack and finds answers about his own past.” – CIP
A Little Piece of Ground
Laird, Elizabeth. A Little Piece of Ground.  London, UK : Macmillan Children’s Books, 2004.
“During the Israeli occupation of Ramallah in the West Bank of Palestine, twelve-year-old Karim and his friends create a secret place for themselves where they can momentarily forget the horrors of war.” – CIP
Macdonald, Margaret Read. Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur!: A Palestinian Folktale. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2006.
“A childless woman’s prayers are answered by the arrival of a talking pot, but the new mother knows that Little Pot must learn right from wrong just like any child.” – CIP [Folklore; Humorous stories; Palestinian Arabs; Theft]
“I am never proud to participate in violence, yet I know that each of us must care enough about ourselves that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed.” – Maya Angelou, American poet
Crescent Star
Maes, Nicholas. Crescent Star: a Novel. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2011.
Avi is Jewish and Moussa is Palestinian. Both boys are fifteen years old and live in Jerusalem. They belong to the same soccer club but do not know each other.  As they struggle to find their own paths in life, readers gain a better understanding of the complexity of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Recommended for young adults.
Enemy Territory
McKay, Sharon E. Enemy Territory. Toronto: Annick Press, 2012.
“Sam, an Israeli teen whose leg may have to be amputated, and Yusuf, a Palestinian teen who has lost his left eye, find themselves uneasy roommates in a Jerusalem hospital.” – back cover. While not the most memorable novel on this theme nor the best written, this story is nevertheless recommended for readers 11 to 16 years old who want to learn more about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Enemy has a Face
Miklowitz, Gloria D. The Enemy Has a Face. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2003.
“Netta and her family have relocated temporarily from Israel to Los Angeles, and when her seventeen-year-old brother mysteriously disappears, she becomes convinced that he has been abducted by Palestinian terrorists.” – CIP.
Message in a Bottle
Zenatti, Valerie. Message in a Bottle. New York: Bloomsbury, 2005, translation c2008.
“Seventeen-year-old Tal of Jerusalem, dejected over the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, puts her hopes for peace in a bottle and asks her brother, a military nurse in the Gaza Strip, to toss it into the sea.” – CIP.
More stories of current and recent conflicts: HERE
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.