Published by Scholastic Press on November 1st 2002
Winner of the Mildred Batchelder Award, this very human novel of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is both touching and timely
Nothing could be more frightening to Samir, a Palestinian boy, than to be where he is now: an Israeli hospital ward, trapped among the very people he blames for his brother's death. Amid this explosive atmosphere, Samir begins to learn about the Israeli kids around him. He discovers their hurts and conflicts - and hesitantly begins to share his own.
This is a story of violence and healing - the story of a boy facing the enemy he has been taught to fear.
Short & Sweet: Samir is a Palestinian boy who has broken his kneecap and must stay in a Jewish hospital until the American doctor can come and perform surgery. Surrounded by kids that are Jewish, he finds that they are not so much different from him. Samir constantly blames himself for his brother's death and he must find a way to heal himself and his leg before he can go home. This novel is a beautifully written story of a boy growing up in an ongoing war zone. Samir is internally struggling with the death of his younger brother and the reader can feel what Samir is feeling throughout this novel. The characters in this book stand out, especially when seen through Samir's eyes, who is a quiet observer in this novel.
Final Verdict: This novel should be in every middle school collection. It definitely gives a point of view on the struggles between Israel and Palestine along with dealing with the loss of a family member.