Tuesday, March 29, 2011


From Children's Librarian Jennifer at the Montrose-Crescenta Branch

Where The Streets Had A Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Hayaat’s grandmother, Sitti, likes to tell stories about her home in Jerusalem. Mostly, her eyes brighten when she talks. But when she describes the day – that awful day – her family was forced to move, her expression changes. Hayaat is Palestinian and lives with her grandmother behind the Israeli-built Separation Wall, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem. When Sitti falls ill, Hayaat believes it’s her heart, not her body, that’s suffering. It’s this realization that compels Hayaat to make the short but dangerous trip to Jerusalem. With a friend’s help, she vows to bring her grandmother soil from her native land.

In this book, Abdel-Fattah creates a portrait of everyday life in occupied Palestine. But without taking sides. Instead, she shows the strength of the human spirit, even in the most difficult of times. Abdel-Fattah balances the seriousness of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with what people naturally use to handle hard things – humor.

An engaging, must-read novel. Grades 5-8

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