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Children's LiteratureThis balanced consideration of the modern state of Israel notes the continued existence of tensions within and without the country. Even in discussion of land and geography, problems of water ownership and usage and strained relationships with neighbors are mentioned. The sophisticated history section includes two perspectives—the modern nation-state and the movement of civilizations through this territory since pre-biblical times. The author recognizes that Jews often chose to remain separate from other cultures in order to preserve particular religious tradition and that other cultures also refused to accept the Jews, often persecuting them in Europe because of their economic success; this conflict was reiterated with the formation of Israel within a circle of Arab/Muslim states. As a planned nation state, Israel is unique, but continues to contend with an internal conflict between those who want a religious and those who want a secular state. By not avoiding the complex issues in the Middle East and Israel's fragile position among hostile neighbors, this book will deepen student's understanding of both modern history and Israel. Maps do not share a common scale, sometimes making it difficult to understand Israel's changing borders. 2004, Mason Crest Publishers, Ages 12 up.
— Elisabeth Greenberg