Understanding the Holy Land (SE)

3.43 avg rating
( 7 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780670060436: Understanding the Holy Land (SE)

Complete with maps and photographs, a guide provides a comprehensive review of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a review of the area's history, its people, significant past and present events, and definitions of commonly used terms.

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From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Gr. 6-9. There's nothing flashy in this book. No dramatic design work; the photographs are interesting but basic. The strength is simply in organization and in the language. Frank, the author of Understanding September 11 (2002), tackles the complex subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, making it comprehensible, if not any less horrific; in some ways, the plain recitations of the facts make the hatred, death, and destruction even more shocking. He uses a simple yet wonderfully effective technique to present the information: questions and answers. Each chapter has a theme question (for example, "What Is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?"), and within each chapter this subject is further broken down. For instance, the first chapter evokes several more targeted questions--Why is there a conflict? and Why is the rest of the world involved? In this fashion, Frank delves deeply into the conflict--its history, underlying reasons, the help (or lack thereof) given by other countries. Although the penultimate question, Is peace possible? is not answered in a particularly hopeful way, the last question, What can you do? offers some ideas, if not for solutions, for ways readers can bring information and peace into their own lives. Evenhanded and honest. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6-9–In simple, straightforward language, making no assumptions about any prior knowledge, Frank tackles the task of sorting out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He begins with a concise political history of the Jews and of the area's Arabs. He tries hard for objectivity, and usually reports feelings on both sides impartially. Occasionally he is less successful. At the outset, for example, he states that "Israelis have controlled all of the land [Israel sits on] for several decades, and Palestinians have fought them to try and take it." Adding the word "back" to the end of that succinct summary would change it radically, and its absence is significant. Nevertheless, the author usually succeeds in representing both sides' hopes and failures in this painful contest. He untangles the complexity by organizing his material effectively. His overall tactic is to use questions as section headings, so that the entire book is a kind of FAQ. Frank includes a helpful glossary (Yom Kippur is missing) and a two-page bibliography of adult books and newspaper and magazine articles. The black-and-white photos and simple maps are few but significant. At the end, Frank manages to give readers some not unrealistic hope for a solution. His book is itself a valuable contribution to that possibility.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI

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