professornana (professornana) wrote,

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listen and learn

The wonderful folks at Bolinda Audio sent me a copy of WHERE THE STREETS HAD A NAME by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Bolinda, 2009) since I am a huge fan of DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS? and TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT ME. Here is the story of Hayatt, a young woman whose life has been touched by the violence in the West Bank. She and her family have been forced from their land and relocated on the other side of the West Bank. There are curfews, ID cards, travel restrictions, and occasionally an attack. One such attack has left Hayatt scarred and her best friend killed. Now Hayatt's Sitti Zeynab is ill. Hayatt and her friend want to travel back to Sitti's village and retrieve some of the soil from her homeland. Their journey will be a dangerous one. Abdel-Fattah gives readers a glimpse of the conflict in this region all through the eyes of Hayatt. And that is what makes the story so immediate. We see Hayatt as a typical 13 year old who is anything but typical because of the death and destruction she has witnessed first hand. However, she can be the playful friend, the pesky younger sister, the attitudinal teen and all in the blink of an eye. Her matter-of-fact description of the perilous journey into Jerusalem is a snapshot of the problem in all of its complexity. No easy solutions offered here, just one young teen's take on the injustice of her young life. The narrator is masterful with the dialects making this book more accessible to readers unfamiliar with the words and cadences of the Middle East.
Tags: audio, bolinda, middle east
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