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Editorial Reviews

A headstrong 13-year-old girl attempts a dangerous journey to gather a handful of magical soil in this young adult novel by Randa Abdel-Fattah. While that may sound like a typical fantasy, Where the Streets Had a Name is quite different: It is set in modern-day Palestine, the heroine is Palestinian, and that magical soil is a handful of dirt on the wrong side of the West Bank.
Abdel-Fattah’s novel does not shy from the horrors of its region, and an image of death haunts the book. But so does hope for a better future, joy in daily living, and charity toward political opponents. A plethora of Arabic terms may at times confuse the listener, but Kellie Jones’s expert performance will carry the listener through.
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Publisher's Summary

Thirteen-year-old Hayaat is on a mission. She believes a handful of soil from her grandmother's ancestral home in Jerusalem will save her beloved Sitti Zeynab's life. The only problem is the impenetrable wall that divides the West Bank, as well as the check points, the curfews, the permit system and Hayaat's best friend Samy, who is mainly interested in football and the latest elimination on X-Factor, but always manages to attract trouble. But luck is on their side. Hayaat and Samy have a curfew-free day to travel to Jerusalem. However, while their journey may only be a few kilometres long, it may take a lifetime to complete.
©2008 Randa Abdel-Fattah; (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Amar on 03-11-09

Surviving Scars

"I look in the mirror and I'm startled by my reflection. It always seems as if a stranger is looking back at me. I stared at the twisted, contorted skin around my right cheek, the scarring that zigs zags across my forehead".
Randa Abdel-Fattah has yet again amazed us with one of her latest novels 'Where The Streets Had a Name'. this novel is about a young Palestenian girl who takes us with her on a life threatening epic adventure through the war torn borders of Jerusalem.
Hayat, a thirteen year old Palestenian girl, sets out on a journey through the occupied territories of Jerusalem with Samy tagging along with her. Samy, also thirteen, is her best friend and is interested in anything that has danger or trouble written all over it. Hayat has one last chance to fullfill her grandmother, Sitti Zeynabs dreams, to touch the soil of her homeland one lat time, but does this mean Hayat ans Samy's lives are in stake.
Hayat is scarred, mentally and phyiscally. Its hard enough for her to cope in a 2 bedroom appartment, sharing a room with her siblings and grandmother, but she has to hide her face everywhere she goes. In this novel Randa writes about the trouble in Palestine with the youth and how they cope with it, leaving us stunned at the amount of stress they go through. Melina Marchetta author of 'Lookin for Alibrandi' says "A poignat and timely novel. I loved it".
This book is highly recommended for the youth and for adults. this book deserves 4 out of 5 stars.

By: Amar Awad

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