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.More
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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