Broken Bridge

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The attack came suddenly and without warning, as twoyoung teenagers walked casually through the streets of Jerusalem,When it was over, one lay dead, the other mysteriously spared,yet left to face the horrendous choices and consequences thatresulted from being the sole witness.

In this gripping sequel to One More River, Lynne Reid Bankscaptures the spirit and complex passions of present-day Israelthrough the powerful voices of a new generation ...

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The attack came suddenly and without warning, as twoyoung teenagers walked casually through the streets of Jerusalem,When it was over, one lay dead, the other mysteriously spared,yet left to face the horrendous choices and consequences thatresulted from being the sole witness.

In this gripping sequel to One More River, Lynne Reid Bankscaptures the spirit and complex passions of present-day Israelthrough the powerful voices of a new generation as they join theunrelenting struggle against the consequences of decades of war.

The murder of fourteen-year-old Glen Shelby, soon after his arrival in Israel to visit his father's family, has a dramatic effect on the lives of his relatives, the other members of their kibbutz, and the Arabs responsible for his death.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The target audience wasn't even born when this book's predecessor, One More River, was published 22 years ago. No matter, because this gripping novel stands-indeed gallops-just fine on its own. At the behest of his father Noah, who turned his back on Israel and his first family years earlier, Glen, a rich Canadian teen, reluctantly accompanies his cousin Nili the daughter of the heroine of One More River to her native kibbutz, which he imagines as a ``weirdo farm village in [a] crazy country filled with barbarians.'' Readers expecting a formulaic YA story, in which Glen overcomes adversity and learns to love his new surroundings, are in for a rude shock: almost immediately he is murdered by an Arab; Nili, the sole witness, refuses to identify the assassin's companion, who unfathomably spared her life. Banks takes an unflinching look at Israel today: at the eroding kibbutzim, at the unwelcome yet much-needed Russian immigrants and, most courageously of all, at the bloody and seemingly irresolvable conflict with the Arabs. Interwoven throughout are resonant themes of homecoming, family and forgiveness. A powerful, moving tale that provides no easy answers for Jew or Arab, this novel should provoke much thought and discussion. Ages 10-up. Apr.
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-The murder of a Canadian teen by Arab terrorists in the streets of Jerusalem heightens political tensions and triggers conflicting emotions felt by members of his family in this sequel to One More River Morrow, 1992. Twenty-five years have passed since Lesley Shelby and her parents emigrated to Israel from Canada; Nili, her daughter, witness to the brutal murder of her cousin Glen, is inexplicably spared. In the aftermath of the attack, as police forces track the murderers, Nili's family tries to come to terms with grief and anger. Nili, fiercely loyal to Jewish Israel, is torn as she tries to protect the terrorist who deliberately intervened and saved her life. Her uncle Noah, the murdered boy's father, faces demons that made him flee Israel, abandoning his first family, years ago. Readers of the earlier novel could fully emphathize with teenage outsider Lesley Shelby, as she made the painful adjustment to the strangeness and raw danger of kibbutz life near the Jordanian border. Broken Bridge, however, has so many points-of-view that its focus is splintered. While its varied voices weave an intricate tapestry of events and emotions in contemporary Israel, both Jewish and Arab, YA readers will find it hard to identify with the guilt of adult characters the ages of their parents and grandparents.-Alice Casey Smith, Monmouth County Library Headquarters, Manalapan, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606091053
  • Publisher: Demco Media
  • Publication date: 3/1/1996
  • Format: Library Binding

Meet the Author

Lynne Reid Banks is a bestselling author for both children and adults. She grew up in London and became first an actress and then one of the first woman TV reporters in Britain before turning to writing. She now has more than forty books to her credit. Her classic children's novel, The Indian in the Cupboard, has sold more than ten million copies worldwide and was made into a popular feature film. Lynne lives with her husband in Dorset, England.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Last Morning

Nili yawned and stretched her feet deep into the enormous hotel bed. The cool percale sheets, the down -- soft pillow under her cheek, the general feeling of luxury, were delicious. Before opening her eyes, she did a sort of double roll from one side of the king-size bed to the other and back and then dived under the covers and burrowed like a mad mole in

directions through the warm, silky darkness.

Perhaps because of the contrast-her bed at home, and her other one at school, were small and narrow, the sheets not nearly so smoothher first real thought of the day was: By tonight I'll be home! It was a thought full of joy. But that didn't mean she wasn't going to get the last ounce of enjoyment out of being here.

She emerged from her tunneling with her long dark hair all over her face and sat up in the wreckage of the bedclothes. She took a good-bye look around the room where she had passed the last seven nights in solitary splendor. She thought of her room at her kibbutz boarding school, shared with two others -0 -companionable but small, cramped, and chaotic. Yow! This one was ten times as big. It had elegant peach-colored walls adorned with beautiful paintings, her very own luxury bathroom, thick floor to -- ceiling curtains patterned with bronze leaves, and a view, when they were drawn back, over Hyde Park.

Hyde Park, London!

Nili jumped off the bed and ran to check that it was all still there, that it was real. Even though she'd been here for a whole week, it still felt like a dream. But it had all really happened to her.

A trip to London by air, seven wonderful days offun and newness and luxury. The shopping, the bus rides, the waxworks, the Tower of London, the London Dungeon (scary! She hadn't liked it at all, but her Canadian cousin Glen had!), the best seats at Starlight Express, the fabulous restaurant meals -- nobody could take it away from her. Her uncle Noah was the best uncle in the entire world, no matter what anybody said.

Standing in front of the wide window, looking over the sunny park, its greensward patterned with huge lakes of yellow daffodils, she vowed that nobody at home in the kibbutz would say one single word against her uncle , ever again, in her hearing, because she just wouldn't let them.

Nothing. Not even hints.

Well, she thought, they wouldn't be able to for a while. Because her cousin Glen was coming back with her. No one would say anything mean about Glen's father while Glen was around.

Nili turned and ran, the squudgy carpet bulging between her bare toes, to the door that led through into Glen's room. She opened it with a rush, and it banged back against the wall, but that didn't wake Glen. He lay humped, motionless, under the covers of his king-size bed. Nili flung herself onto the bed full length.

"Come on, you lazy, wake up!" she said happily, tickling his neck.

He stirred and stretched the way she had. She bounced about on the acres of, spare bed surface.

"Last morning in London," he murmured glumly.

"Last morning!" she agreed, but her voice was full of excitement. "Today we back home in kibbutz!"

"You mean you back home in kibbutz," mumbled Glen. "Me not back home, me in weirdo farm village in crazy country full of barbarians."

She stopped dead, staring at him. Something rough and unpleasant was happening inside her.

"You don't say that," she said thickly.

Her cousin opened his eyes and looked at her. He had a round, freckled face, a bit puffy from sleep. But his blue eyes were sharp.

"I just did say it," he said. "Israelis kill people, so they must be barbarians."

Suddenly, without knowing she was going to, she picked up a pillow and banged him in the face with it. He flung it off with an angry shout. She jumped on him and started pummeling him with the pillow. The next minute they were grappling.

They rolled over and over until they fell on the floor. Glen was on top. He grabbed a handful of her thick hair and pulled. She screamed and pushed his face back, with both hands under his jaw, until he had to let go. She rolled away fast and jumped to her feet.

"Are you nuts?" he panted from the floor.

"You don't say bad things about Israel!" she said fiercely. She felt very upset. She had never fought like that before. Never wanted to hurt anyone the way she had wanted, just for a second, to hurt Glen.

"Only joking, you idiot!" Glen shouted, his eye watering where she had caught it with the pillow. He got to his feet more slowly. The first button of his pajama top was off. He examined the tear.

"That's not a joke to say 'barbarians'!" she said. "And you shouldn't tease about my English! When we get to Israel, we see how good you speak our language!

"Who wants to even go?" said Glen, turning away.

Nili lost part of her anger in astonishment.

"You don't want to go?" she asked incredulously. "Why not?"

Glen said nothing and went into the bathroom, banging the door. She could hear him running some water to hide the sound of peeing. She sat down on the bed. To stop her hands from shaking she stroked them down the sides of her disordered hair, tossing it back over her shoulders with a flick of her thumbs. She felt ashamed but still angry.

In the kibbutz, kids didn't light. Not kids of fourteen. They just didn't. But then no one in kibbutz... Broken Bridge. Copyright © by Lynne Banks. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2004

    Another great book from Lynne Reid Banks

    In Broken Bridge, the reader learns about the lives of the Shelby family, which includes three generations, grandparents, parents, and children. The Shelbys are Jews living in Israel on a kibbutz. They interact with other Jews and Arabs, as well as Russian immigrants who have just recently arrived in Israel for religious freedom. The main event in the book is the death of one of the Shelby grandchildren. The story focues on the reaction of the Shelby family to the death and the search for the killers. The best feature of the book is the character development. There are many characters with good qualities and bad qualities, and some with both good and bad qualities. The descriptions of the characters make you feel like you really get to know them and understand why they do things. The story line is good too. It is realistic and very suspenseful. It holds your attentionn and you don't want to put the book down. While the overall story line is good, it was confusing in the beginning with the trip to Europe. I found this part of the story to be confusing and incomplete. Once I got through this part (the first chapter), then I enjoyed the story line much more. The author's style of alternating the settings between the Israeli and Arab perspectives in every other chapter was distracting to me. I might have enjoyed the book even more if she had blended the settings in each chapter or not alternated them so much. Overall, I would recommend Broken Bridge to anyone who want to read and learn about a family struggling to live peacefully in Israel. Broken Bridge is written by Lynne Reid Banks, who also wrote The Indian in the Cupboard. Both books have great characters and story lines. Ms. Banks is a very descriptive writer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2003

    Broken Bridge

    When I read this book all of a sudden I realized how terrible it is to go through these kinds of things every day. The book was written so well I forgot I wasn't part of their family. I tottaly recomend this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2002


    This book is totally awesome! It included some history, action, mystery, suspense and a great story! In Broken Bridge, you can follow a 15 year-old-girl through tough times in her life with a close family member being killed and helping to catch the killers. This is an awesome book for anyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2000

    Broken Bridge

    Starting out with the murder of Glen, This book gives a terrifing yet real look at the lives of many jewish and arab people in Isrial . This book shows the hatred between the two, and the strugle for peace. i recomend anyone to read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2000

    Broken Bridge

    This book gives a glimpse in the lives of so many Israelis. This book proves to be a great sequal to One More River. Take my advise, read this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2000


    I am in tenth grade at Jackson High School and I read the book. I thought it was a great book. It makes you understand what is going on in the Middle East. It keeps you on your toes from chapter one to chapter twenty-eight. The best book I have ever read!

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