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A collection of five stories portraying Arab life in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, and Iraq today.
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Elsa Marston is the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction, including Women of the Middle East: Tradition and Change, The Ugly Goddess, and A Griffin in the Garden. She lived in Lebanon for many years and now resides in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8–An enjoyable and often surprising collection of stories about Arab teenagers living in modern-day Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq. Like Marston's nonfiction title Women in the Middle East: Tradition and Change (Scholastic, 1996), these stories dispel many stereotypes about this part of the world. The young people are facing some specifically Middle Eastern issues such as the U.S. embargo on Iraq and the hardships of life in a Palestinian refugee camp, but they also have concerns that will be familiar to American readers: loyalty to friends, dreams of a future career, and feelings of being torn between divorced parents. The characters are complex and interesting, and the Middle Eastern settings are described in rich detail. Each selection is followed by a note in which the author explains social issues specific to the story that may be unfamiliar to readers. This collection will appeal to those who enjoyed Naomi Shihab Nye's Habibi (S & S, 1997) and would also be a good choice for classes discussing this part of the world or multicultural issues in general.–Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
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