Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Where The Streets Had a Name

Where The Streets Had a Name
By Randa Abdel-Fattah
Published by Scholastic Canada
Ages 13+
Reviewed by Martha Beach
   
    Hayaat and her family used to own a beautiful olive farm. Her father worked hard and loved the olive grove. She and her siblings played happily and her mother was incredibly creative.

But everything changed drastically one day when they received a demolition notice from the Israeli army. Since then, Hyaat and her family have been living in a tiny apartment in Bethlehem.
Her two little brothers, a sulking father, nagging mother, talkative grandmother, and wedding-fevered sister are all packed into a few rooms, sometimes for days at a time when a curfew is issued by the Israeli Army.

Her new home, school, and shops are situated behind a huge impenetrable wall that divides the West Bank. Unfortunately, Hayaat and her family are on the wrong side of the wall.

When Hayaat's beloved grandmother becomes ill and expresses her urge to feel the soil of her home once more before she dies, Hayaat and her friend Sammy set off on the adventure of their lives.

Battling roadblocks, dealing with gun-toting and intimidating soldiers, Hayaat and Sammy must travel only a few miles, but find themselves in an entirely different world.

Author, Randa Abdel-Fattah deals with loss, friendship, family, war, and an extremely delicate political subject with grace, humour, and truth. Readers are sure to be submersed right from the beginning of the book. They will feel sadness, happiness, and the dusty road that Hayaat and Sammy are travelling on.

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