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School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up
This book is a collection of 34 short narratives in which Palestinian and Israeli teenagers tell about their lives and how they feel about the conflicts in the region. Black-and-white photos accompany the interviews. Readers without prior knowledge of the region may find it difficult to understand some of the issues; the introduction summarizes broad points from the teens' interviews rather than providing background information on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The authors, who have founded a nonprofit peace organization called the Global Oral History Program (GOHIP), are well intentioned, but there is a sameness and repetitiveness about the narratives, possibly because there is not a wide variety of viewpoints represented. The teens are all fairly secular and tend to express similar sorts of opinions. There are no interviews with Orthodox Jewish or Conservative Muslim teens. Deborah Ellis's Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak (Groundwood, 2004) and Amal Rifa'i and Odelia Ainbinder's We Just Want to Live Here (St. Martin's, 2003) are stronger and more engaging choices. Voices is an additional purchase.
—Kathleen E. GruverCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.