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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A new volume in Thompson/Gale's "Modern Nations of the World," this book presents a comprehensive look at the unusual Middle East democracy of Israel. The author continuously reminds the reader of the fact that this is the only country in the world in which Jews are the majority and how that impacts its every aspect. Along with history and geography, which go back 5000 years to the wandering forefather Abraham, Israeli culture and religion are based on the Torah (the Bible, the Old Testament) and its laws. So one finds the anomaly of a thoroughly modern country whose national airline does not fly on the Sabbath and many of whose businesses and shops are closed every seventh day in its honor. Israel is also a country of immigrants, having an open door policy for any and all Jews, and its population is a miniature United Nations of nationalities. The book does a good job of outlining the building of a Jewish nation, the struggle for peace and prosperity while under frequent attack, and the thorny problem of sharing territory with Arab Palestinians, many of whom are committed to the destruction of the Jews and their nation. The chapter "Daily Life in Israel" gives an excellent insight into the life of the country, and there are frequent sidebars on such topics as Escape at Entebbe, The Revival of the Hebrew Language, A Stand Against Violence and for Peace—Yitzhak Rabin, and Keeping Kosher. Black-and-white photographs are included. Recommended for schools and libraries. 2003, Lucent,
— Judy Chernak
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Corona describes the complex history of this controversial, modern nation, beginning with the stories of the Torah and continuing with an account of the 2000-year Diaspora, begun in A.D. 135. The treatment of the land is nicely descriptive and set in historical context. The author makes it clear that not only has the country been in constant external conflict, but also that the people who live there have harbored opposing viewpoints regarding the founding of their homeland. In successive chapters, the text covers the creation and building of the Jewish nation as well as the ongoing struggle for peace and sustenance from an arid land. Interesting chapters follow on the daily life of the Israeli populace, their arts, culture, and hopes for the future. The sidebar stories include, among others, the beginnings of the Zionist movement, how Hebrew became the official Israeli language, issues of the Holocaust, and the artist colony Ein Hod. This title is well researched and solidly written, but the black-and-white photographs are sometimes grainy and not very appealing. Martin and Stephen Hintz's Israel (Children's, 1999), while already a bit dated, is similar in scope and more attractively illustrated.-Sylvia V. Meisner, Greensboro Montessori School, NC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590181157
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 3/26/2003
  • Series: Modern Nations ofthe World
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurel Corona

Laurel Corona is a professor of humanities at San Diego City College and a longtime resident of Southern California. She is the author of The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice, along with numerous works of nonfiction.

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