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When Mia, a Jewish teenager from Toronto, goes to Jerusalem to spend the summer studying at the yeshiva, or seminary, she expects to connect with the land and deepen her understanding of Judaism. Instead she gets a crash course in both the politics of the Middle East and the intricacies of the human heart, and discovers a whole new way of looking at the world.
"What does it say?"
Aviva paused to read the Hebrew. "It commemorates the soldiers who died while taking the hill in the 1948 War of Independence. There was probably a village here."
"What do you mean?"
"Probably some Arab village."
I turned to Aviva. "They planted trees over an Arab village?"
"Why would they do that?"
Aviva shrugged. "To make the land beautiful, I guess."
I stared at her. Then I rubbed my temples. Aviva seemed like a stranger. My head buzzed. I wanted to say, This is not a forest. Instead I said, "What happened to the people who used to live here?"
Posted August 5, 2011
Gold Star Award Winner! Mia goes to Israel with her friend, Aviva, to learn about the Jewish faith. At once Mia is enthralled by this foreign place and all of its beautiful landmarks, but she quickly learns that everything in Israel isn't as beautiful as it seems. The Palestinians are fighting for a land that was once theirs but that now the Jews claim belongs to them. Mia learns that the Jewish religion can be quite bloody and ignorant at times, and she starts to question whether she can be a part of this faith - or any faith at all. Along this journey she meets Andrew, a handsome guitar player who seems to know more about Israel's politics than she does. So with the help of Andrew, she tries to figure out whether she can continue in this faith, and what she plans to do about the turmoil in Israel. Lieberman writes a truly wonderful book about a girl trying to figure out who she is and what she stands for while also trying to come to grips with the Jewish religion and the politics in Israel. Not only is this book touching on a personal level, but it is educational, too. It really brings to light the politics and turmoil in Israel; it helps the reader better understand what is going on in such a faraway place. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about a brave girls' journey to find love, her beliefs, and ultimately herself. It is truly inspiring and might give you the courage to find out who you are, as well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.