From the Publisher
"Lewin's watercolor illustrations capture contemporary Beirut with stunning clarity and drama . . . Unforgettable." School Library Journal, Starred
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this ``poignant and appealing'' story, a boy longs for peace in his war-torn Beirut; PW noted that Lewin's art ``exudes a brave optimism.'' Ages 5-9. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
Ten-year-old Sami tells the story of his life growing up in war torn Lebanon. Some or his days are good, especially when he and his family can go outside to the market or to play in the streets. Unfortunately, most of his days are bad because Sami and his family must hide in a small basement as a war is fought above them. A moving story illustrated with lovely watercolor paintings of Sami's troubled life in Lebanon.
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-- Ten-year-old Sami lives in Beirut, Lebanon. Because of gunfire and bombing in the streets, he and his family spend much of their time in the basement of an uncle's house. There they listen to the radio or stare at the carpets Sami's mother insisted on bringing along as reminders of a normal life. When there is a lull in the fighting, the boy enjoys a day at the beach or meets with a friend to make a fort and play at war. ```When we are older, we will have real guns,''' says Amir. Sami disagrees. ```The fighting will be over then. It cannot last forever.''' At the story's end, Sami and his family are back underground listening as the ``noises of the night'' begin. As in The Day of Ahmed's Secret (Lothrop, 1990), three marvelously talented collaborators offer a powerful, poignant book. Heide and Gilliland's lyrically written, haunting story makes clear that war threatens not only physical existence but affects the human spirit as well. Lewin's watercolor illustrations capture contemporary Beirut with stunning clarity and drama. A bridal party walks through the rubble of a bombed-out street, old men drink coffee and smoke water-pipes, a blue sky startles with its brilliance. And Sami--surrounded by the carpets whose muted colors suggest a glimmering of hope--waits in the black cave of a basement. Unforgettable. --Ellen D. Warwick, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA