The Almond Tree

The Almond Tree

by Michelle Cohen Corasanti


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The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti

Gifted with a mind that continues to impress the elders in his village, Ichmad Hamid struggles with knowing that he can do nothing to save his friends and family. Living on occupied land, his entire village operates in fear of losing their homes, jobs, and belongings. But more importantly, they fear losing each other.

On Ichmad's twelfth birthday, that fear becomes reality.

With his father imprisoned, his family's home and possessions confiscated, and his siblings quickly succumbing to hatred in the face of conflict, Ichmad begins an inspiring journey using his intellect to save his poor and dying family. In doing so he reclaims a love for others that was lost through a childhood rife with violence and loss, and discovers a new hope for the future.

Reminiscent of  The Kite Runner  and  One Thousand Splendid Suns , this is an uplifting read, which conveys a message of optimism and hope.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781859643297
Publisher: Garnet Publishing
Publication date: 10/11/2012
Pages: 348
Sales rank: 319,335
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

MICHELLE COHEN CORASANTI has a BA from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a MA from Harvard University, both in Middle Eastern Studies. She also holds a law degree. A Jewish American, she has lived in France, Spain, Egypt, and England, and spent seven years living in Israel. She currently lives in New York with her family.  The Almond Tree  is her first novel.

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The Almond Tree 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“The Almond Tree,” is one of the most moving and powerful novels I’ve read. It’s the kind of book that takes the reader into another world, a world of poverty and war, brutality, sorrow and love. And in the process we become aware of ourselves as human beings; the beauty and the horror we create. What a ride. Man’s inhumanity to his fellow creatures is appalling, countered only by a deep sense of justice, compassion and a love for the truth whatever it is. Corasanti shines the light of awareness into the shadows of our ignorance and draws our attention to a deep injustice knowing that awareness gives rise to understanding and understanding to change. This conflict, this oppression, will not be able to continue in the light of awareness. We’ve not been outraged before because we didn’t know what was happening. Now that we know I hope we’re outraged enough to make our voices heard. Obama recently spoke to Jewish students. He said, “Put yourself in their shoes — look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents, every single day.” Awareness. So little of the history and ongoing events is known by Westerners. We’re ignorant and can’t afford to be! We have great wealth and power at the moment but it cannot last when we don’t give to others what we want for ourselves. And what do we want? Is it not to live at peace with our neighbors, to make a living, to care for our families and raise our children with a roof over our heads, clean water. food, fairness and justice? Life has its own way, and if we refuse to share what we have with others we won’t have it either. Corasanti’s story will move you, it will present you with a dilemma. No longer will you live in ignorance of the ongoing Palestinian/Israeli conflict and it is that shared and growing awareness that will in the end halt the destruction of the Palestinian people and restore compassion and justice to the Israeli soul. Colin Mallard, Comox, BC Canada.
CarolNWong More than 1 year ago
If you are interested in the Middle East, you need to read this book. The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti is a book that she felt had to write. She worked for five years to complete this story. It is fiction but it felt true. In fact, I found it very difficult to lay it down. I know so much more after reading this book than I did before. This is a serious book but also a hopeful one. Ichmad Hamid is unusually bright boy in mathematics and science. He learned to follow Einstein’s advice and do problems in his head to calm himself during crisis. He lived in a small village of Palestinian people with his parents and siblings. His father is a talented artist and extremely wise about people, war and forgiveness. If you had looked around the inside of his home at the beginning of this story, you would have seen many portraits and pictures done by his father of his family and different times in their lives. Amal, his younger sister innocently walked out the door of their house, into a field and was blown up by a landmine. They cannot bury her. Permits are needed by the Israelis to marry, to travel, to work, to build a home, to go to school to bury, to even buy fruit from was formerly their own trees. There is no freedom in occupied land. When Ichmad was only twelve, his father was imprisoned for a crime that he did not commit. His family was tear gassed out of their home by soldiers who said that they were terrorists. Sarah, one of his sisters tripped and hurt her forehead. Ichmad tried to breathe air into her but she died. The soldiers shot up the house with Uzis and then dynamited the remains. Everything was gone except for a lone almond tree that Ichmad had named Shahida or witness. His father was in the desert in a horrible prison. His mother was still like a child, not educated, bossy and very dependent. His brothers and sisters were all younger than him. How was this boy going to provide enough food to keep his family from starving? How was he going to protect them from the storms of nature and even worse the whims of the soldiers? How was he going to keep his promise to his father make something of himself? I wish everyone single would read this amazing book to be able to understand what it is really like to live in an occupied land. This book is one of hope, resilience and resourcefulness. I received this book from the Library Thing’s Member Giveaway but that in no way influenced my thoughts in this review. 3 likes flag
catscritch More than 1 year ago
After being persecuted for decades, even centuries, how would a victimized culture finally handle being in control? I don’t know, and this is not the book of explanations. This is the story of those held back by the persecuted that have now become as hardened, paranoid and militarized as any group that ever mistreated them. This is the Palestinian point of view. One which I have only ever thought of as pitching rocks against machine guns. It is painful in its honesty, but still offers hope that we all might one day see the irrational attitudes that make it necessary to hold one group down in order to raise another. I put the book down wanting to know more about this constant struggle – but also touched by the characters that rose from the page and carefully explained their hopes and fears, dreams and disasters and made me believe that there is always something any one of us can do to make this world a better place. It is a fascinating story, with captivating people living through a history that can easily be believed to be hell on earth, just needing a little help to survive, much less overcome burdens no one should be forced to shoulder. Michelle Cohen Corasanti offers a chance to see families and not monsters caught in the cross-fire of modern politics.
NeedToReadGotToWatch More than 1 year ago
The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti is a beautifully written story told from the point of view of Ichmad Hamid. Told in four parts (and spanning decades) it begins with a seven-year old Ichmad making us painfully aware of real horrors and what loss really means. From the first page the reader is fully aware it's not a story for the light-hearted.  Living as a Palestinian in an Jewish Israeli controlled village, we start off in the 1950's, with Ichmad describing the horrofic circumstances and achingly real terror he feels living with soldiers that could destroy him and everything he loves at any given moment.  Through the decades he grows and struggles with his emotions and assumptions of others. He has spent his life being threatened, hurt and watching all he loves being taken by Israeli Jews that he can't trust them and deeply fears them. As he learns more of the world with time, he begins to accept that not all Israelis are as he perceived them. However, his family is firmly agains the idea and Ichmad is so bound by obligation and duty to his family, so driven by it, that they motivate his every action. Fear confines him, but passion for his work and love drive him forward. He must come to terms and fully understand his hatred for a race with which the only contact he ever had was controlling, aggressive and cruel. The people who continuously robbed him of everything he had. Ichmad has a unique gift. He is a mathematical genius and devotes his life to his cause, to his desire to learn, but he struggles to educate his family, to support them, especially his brother Abbas, whose hatred for Israelis Ichmad can never manage to overcome. His world is at war, Israel is in ruins and people are forced to live in wreckage and poverty. Living in a time when Palestinians hate the Jewish and Jewish Israelis hate the Palestinian Arabs, his life is constantly in turmoil. His younger self never feels safe, never has enough to eat and can only watch as his family suffers. A beautiful, heart-wrenching story. An educational and painfully real look into the life of a Palestinian boy living under an Israeli regime in the 50's, still trying to break free decades later. He inspires us all. Rising out of the ashes to find his passion and save his family, constantly hitting walls and having to rebuild from scratch, always returning to his symbol of hope- the constant presence of an almond tree by his childhood home. Haunting and not to be missed. Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very powerfull human story about the struggle of a Palestinian boy under the occupation. It ia a story of struggle and hope at the same time. Highly recomend.
AltaJoe More than 1 year ago
The general overtone of The Almond Tree is the plight of the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. While The Almond Tree is a work of fiction, the writer lived in Israel for numerous years and her observations and experiences are the basis for many of the scenarios that play out on its pages. She does an excellent job of bringing the day to day misery of a people living under occupation for an entire generation. Yet, the book offers a glimmer of hope. A flickering of light in the darkness. It starts with forgiveness, the ability to accept past transgressions, no matter how horrific they may have been and move forward. It takes strength and perseverance. The heroes in the book all show these attributes as they stand up not only to their enemies, but to their family and friends, all of whom seem determined to foster the hatred. It is heartwarming to watch as they work tirelessly to tear down the walls and clear a path to a better life.
Hasburgh More than 1 year ago
_The Almond Tree_, by Michelle Cohen Corasanti, is a powerful, beautifully visual, compelling and human story of the struggle for peace within, peace among people, and ultimately a goal for peace among nations. You will devour this provocative tale of haunting anguish, and triumph through empathy and education. You will come to know and appreciate the vibrant characters, for their frailty, humility, compassion, respect, self-respect and wisdom. For anyone who has ever cherished a child, _The Almond Tree_ is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This fictional work demonizes Israel.  For an educated person, Michelle Cohen Corasanti seems ignorant of history and culture of  both Palestinians and Jews.  For example, this novel implies that even Jewish Israelis, e.g. Professor Sharon, do not believe they have ancient historical roots in Israel despite the abundant historical,cultural and archeological evidence. The Israelis in the book poison the land, the water and the air - this is nothing but  anti-Israel propaganda.  Her characters are stereotypical. Ms Corosanti claims she wants to promote peace but her book is so one-sided as to be unbelievable.
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Coras­anti is a debut novel by this accom­plished woman. The novel looks at the Mid­dle East prob­lems through a pro-Palestinian point of view. Ich­mad Hamid was born in a small Pales­ti­nine vil­lage, but soon impresses those who know him with his sharp mind. On his 12th birth­day Ichmad's father is improsined, his home destroyed and pos­ses­sions consficated. Ich­mad uses the only tools he has, a work ethic and a genius mind, to make a name for him­self, receive equal­ity and give and receive hope. The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Coras­anti is a sad book with lots of descrip­tive vio­lence which starts early on until the very end. It seems to me that the author was try­ing hard to cre­ate a tear jerker. While the sub­ject mat­ter of the book is for adults, the writ­ing seemed to be tar­get­ing the YA crowd or mid­dle school chil­dren. Not that the writ­ing is bad, just sim­plis­tic with a few math prob­lems thrown in for good mea­sure (the pro­tag­o­nist is a math­e­mat­i­cal genius). I tried to read the novel with an open mind, but towards the end, the heavy handed bias of the book sim­ply turned me off. The novel is writ­ten from the Pales­tin­ian per­spec­tive of the Mid­dle East how­ever I found it to be inac­cu­rate and overly sim­pli­fied. The Arabs are good and hand­some (with one or two excep­tions), the Israelis are bad and ugly (with one or two excep­tions) and every­one who dares wears a uni­form or asso­ciate them­selves with a polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion is either a step below the Nazis or a ter­ror­ist (Peace activists and pro-Palestinian Jews are, of course, excluded). What I found espe­cially both­er­some is that the novel takes com­plex prob­lems like Mid­dle East con­flicts and ignores infor­ma­tion about why the prob­lems exist. The author seems to want to com­pare the Pales­tini­ans to the Euro­pean Jews dur­ing World War II but really there is no com­par­i­son, and if there is I was not con­vinced at all. Ms. Coras­anti dra­mat­i­cally describes the injus­tices the Pales­tini­ans are suf­fer­ing such as the bomb­ing of inno­cents in vil­lages and treat­ments by the Israeli sol­diers, but does not men­tion any­thing about sui­cide bombers who blow up buses and pizze­rias. The one sui­cide bomber men­tioned was kind enough to blow him­self up as to not hurt inno­cent peo­ple (a good kid who became a sui­cide bomber in a few days, totally dis­re­gard­ing the months of work and brain wash­ing it takes to get some­one to agree to blow them­selves up). The author goes into details about the mis­treat­ment of inno­cent pris­on­ers in Israeli jails but com­pletely dis­re­gards Israeli pris­on­ers who were dragged in the streets. She extols the virtues of the sim­ple Pales­tine liv­ing and fam­ily val­ues while com­pletely ignor­ing honor killings, behead­ings, abuse of women and more. Nowhere in the book will you find that the Pales­tin­ian lead­ers oppress the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple just as much, if not more, than the Israelis do. Imag­ine writ­ing a book about the causes of World War II com­pletely ignor­ing the out­come of World War I and you get the picture. A chunk of the book takes place in the Gaza strip where the author goes on and on describ­ing the deplorable liv­ing con­di­tions and how the Israelis make it worst every day. No men­tion of why Israel closed the areas (mis­siles, sui­cide bombs, weapon smug­gling) or the bil­lions of aid dol­lars that Arafat and his min­ions, as well as later admin­is­tra­tions, siphoned off instead of invest­ing them in infra­struc­ture and business. And, of course, no men­tion of Arafat’s refusal what basi­cally was the best peace deal offered… to any­one… EVER! The author states that she holds a MA in Mid­dle East­ern Stud­ies, the book does not reflect that.The abuse of the Pales­tini­ans is pre­sented with­out con­text. The pop­u­la­tion is oppressed but are not even par­tially respon­si­ble at all for the oppres­sion. Extreme groups, both Pales­tin­ian and Jew­ish, who are respon­si­ble for much of the cri­sis are com­pletely ignored and the Israelis are blamed from top to bottom. What do most peo­ple want? To end the week with their fam­i­lies safe and enough money to splurge on pizza and a beer. The Israelis and Pales­tini­ans are not dif­fer­ent in that regard, but the fringe ele­ments — usu­ally those on both sides who make money on the con­flict — keep things heated. Ms. Coras­santi is a smart lady, she has a BA from Hebrew Uni­ver­sity, a MA from Har­vard, and a law degree — and now she wrote a dan­ger­ous book. Why dan­ger­ous? Because the une­d­u­cated audi­ence would take her word as the whole truth, and noth­ing but the truth! I have read books of this type before, but at the end there is always an appen­dix or an author's note putting the story in his­tor­i­cal or social con­text — this is not the case. Over­all I thought the book was good, but being hit over the head con­stantly with a biased view is sim­ply not to my lik­ing (even if it was agree­able to me). I pre­fer to be pre­sented the facts and be able to make up my own mind. How­ever, the book did give me much to think about and pre­sented a story from a dif­fer­ent view point. Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
badgerVW More than 1 year ago
The Almond Tree is more than a beautiful compelling story. It is also very sad. Imagine the outcry if a 3 year old Canadian girl died because she chased a butterfly into a field next to her home. And unknown to her had entered a mine field, deliberately put there to kill whoever entered it. This is the story of a Palestinian family whose only crime was to live on a farm Israeli settlers wanted. The family, forced into a hovel and then a tent is pushed to the brink of extinction. The two oldest sons seek ways to save their family and their people. One confronts and returns the hatred and violence directed at him and his people. The other son, a gifted mathematician is provided with an education. Highly prized for his intelligence is able to escape the horrors his family must continue living with. He has to work with a Jewish professor, who despises and fears him. This difficult and frightening relationship leads eventually to an understanding that hatred and violence only make things worse and they eventually become friends. Both brothers act out of love for their family and for their people and yet both are powerless to change things. In reading The Almond Tree, and others such as, "Stillpoint" by Colin Mallard, we are confronted with the extent to which propaganda has blinded us to what is happening in Israel. The United States and Canada have by and large provided physical and moral support for the Israeli government and Israelis in general. In doing so they and their people have turned a blind eye to a great injustice on the scale of the holocaust:the slow steady destruction of the Palestinian people. No wonder we are the target of hated caused by the clash of fundamental Islam with fundamental, Christianity, and fundamental Judaism We live in a democracy and when enough people become aware of what is happening it can be halted before it's too late. If we want a world that is fair and safe for us we must ensure it for everyone.
TyWilsonSLC More than 1 year ago
I received this in a giveaway drawing on another website.  I don't pay as much attention to the political conflicts in the world as I probably should, but I knew a little bit about the Palestinian situation from some research I had done in college. The thing this book did is put a face on the terrible consequences of what's happening there and what's happened in the past. This book allows you to see the history of the struggle between Israel and Palestine over the last 60 years or so. Through Ichmad Hamid and his family you get to see the conflict from different angles; from the side trying to make peace as well as the more militant side that refuses to give up the fight. Ichmad is a true genius, and his intelligence will take him far in the world. He attempts to straddle the line of taking care of his family while at the same time furthering his education. It's not an easy task. Ichmad's journey is filled with hope and horror in almost equal measure, and the way he handles what life throws at him makes for a highly uplifting read. Reading this book gave me a lot to think about, and I don't know what the answer is for Palestine. I'm not sure there is a truly good answer, but I do know that much of what has happened was wrong on both sides. I hope many people will read this book. It just might change the way people look at those who are different from themselves. 
Raluca_Preisler More than 1 year ago
Book source: received for review via LibraryThing The Almond Tree tells the story of a young boy, Ichmad Hamid, who manages to succeed in life only thanks to his intelligence and good will. Caught in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ichmad's family is left with no home or possesions, so he has to struggle to earn money and survive. Thanks to his natural talent in Sciences, Ichmad receives a scholarship to study in Israel (the country of the soldiers who killed two of his sisters and imprisoned his father), and later moves to America, from where he is able to help his family back home. By becoming a successful researcher, Ichmad manages to draw worldwide attention to the situation in Palestine, and to raise funds in order to help his compatriots. However, the story of the Palestinian Arabs has not yet come to an end, and we are witnessing the history being written from suffering and oppression. Although it saddened me a lot, I really enjoyed reading this book. There were many emotional, heart-warming moments, and the end was bright and motivational. It kept me captivated from the first page straight to the last, and even though I was relieved by the (almost) happy end, I still wanted more. There are so many things to be said about the conflict between the Istraeli and the Palestinians! The characters were well-described and I was able to put myself in the place of any of them. Each of the characters, either Arab or Israeli, faces great pain at some point. The book made me cry a lot and suffer along with the characters. Another aspect that I liked was that I got to learn many fascinating things about the Arabic culture, and I also had fun trying to solve Ichmad's Physics and Math problem. The readers who are interested in History, Sciences or Arts will surely enjoy this book. It is such a shame that all we do is to sit comfortably in front of our TV's, unaware of what is happening around us. It would not be bad to learn more about this subject and help, even just by spreading the alarm signal. The Almond Tree got me totally unprepared. I barely had an idea of what is happening in the Middle East, and I'm glad this book opened my eyes. I got captivated by the subject of this book and I will certainly read more of this kind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing read and although fiction, I know the events to be unfortunately based on reality. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The opening scene for The Almond Tree pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the book and the story telling pace never really slows. It jumps from scene to scene without taking as much as a break. About half way through the book, I wanted one but it never came. I wondered whether the story would have benefited from a slower pace, a chance to get to know more than just the main character, Ichmad Hamid. The story is told through first person POV. There were so many others that drew my attention away from him: Baba, Abbas, Professor Sharon. But Ichmad was so likeable, so compelling, it was easy to forget about the others as his story progressed. Towards the end of the book, I asked myself the same question: would the book have benefited from a slower pace? I couldn’t answer for one simple reason. There is more than just a fictional story going on here. The author’s frenzied pace tells me I need to know something. She wants me to understand. When finished, I understood that with a story like this, I have no right to dictate how it should be written. By the author’s own admission, the story is fictional, but the events as a whole are not. They are things that the author has seen with her own eyes or heard about through others. Perhaps there is a little of the author’s own story mixed in. I don’t know. What I do know is that this book demands to be read. I have a clearer understanding of the Israeli/Palestinian struggles now. I’m not going to use this review to discuss politics – I’ll leave it up to you to take what you want from the book. Regardless of your own beliefs or opinions on the matter, you should not let this book pass you by.
Terry50 More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that is difficult to put down. The characters face gargantuan (but very believable) challenges that push you out of your comfort zone and make you think twice about your blessings and your role as a human being. Best of all, while you experience the heartbreaks and joys of the main character, you lean a great deal about Israel and its situation in the Middle East--a situation largely possible due to US support. If "Gaza" and "West Bank" are just words you hear on the news, "The Almond Tree" will fill you in, making you a far more worldly and informed individual. You can even learn a little physics and math if you're up to it. (I was not--I enjoyed reading the short bits on those subjects, but I fear they did not make a dent in my brain.) If you love vivid characters, if you devour gripping drama, if you enjoy a peek at other cultures, if you are Jewish, if you are Arab, if you are American, if you care about people, or if you want to understand the world and your place in it, this book is a must-read. It will not only entertain you, it will make you a better informed person--likely even a better person. "The Almond Tree" is a lovely prayer for peace, though religion figures into the story as a political rather than a spiritual force. My only complaint about the book is that it had me sobbing often and unexpectedly--a problem as I read much of it on the treadmill at the gym and I detest weeping in public.
maffism More than 1 year ago
Not  just a book, it's also a series of important lessons in the truth about the plight of the Palestinian people. Recommended to all. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this book on Monday and I must say from the first chapter The Almond Tree gripped me. The life of Ichmad and his family is filled with sorrow, tragedy and fear that one cannot understand unless they are in that situation. The Almond Tree brings this to life. But most of all The Almond Tree breathes hope. What has impressed me the most is that Michelle Cohen Corasanti who is Jewish American has written this book so eloquently from the perspective of a Palestinian boy that I am blown away. This book is triumphant in the fact that it succeeds on showing us the other side of Middle East conflict. Nothing is ever black or white and Mrs. Corasanti proves it. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such an awesome book. It enlightened me to a few concepts I was unaware of and I have grown in my mind & heart because of it. 
LorriR More than 1 year ago
This is my first Goodreads give away book that I have won. It was delivered yesterday 12/31 and I read it today. A wonderful book that shows the point of view from the Palestines. What a great story told from the eyes of a 12 year old boy who encounters hatred simply because of where he was born. It is great reminder that sometimes those we hate we might come to respect and care for if we took time to get to know them. This book points out that those raised with hatred sometimes hate simply because they are raised to believe they have a right to hate. I recommend this book it is a great read.
MakiMS More than 1 year ago
"The Almond Tree" is a really great book. It's not a book that I would pick to read by myself, but I won it on and I read it.  And I didn't regret it at all. Story is great, very inspiring and sad too.  Main character is Ichmad Hamid, story begins since he was a little kid. After his twelfth birthday everything changed. His father was imprisoned, his home was destroyed and his little sister died. They lived in fear every day because their village was on occupied land. He took his fathers place because he had to support his family. His life was really hard since then. He was just a kid but he had to work with his brother. A lot of ups and downs followed him. But he never gave up. His father supported him, his teacher too. He had someone who would tell him what to do, to make better life for himself and his family. He had support and chose right things to do. His story taught us to never give up. To do what we love, to fight for our dreams no matter how long it will take. Nothing is impossible. I recommend everyone to read this book, you won't regret it, I'm sure! :) P.S. Sorry for my bad English.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story follows Ichmad, a Palestinian boy, and his family. I immediately felt an affinity with him right from the word go. I had never read a book from a Palestinian perspective before, but I'm so glad I read this. It's actually a quite brutal, heartbreaking read, but even so I would recommend it to anyone .Amazing book!
SerenaPowell More than 1 year ago
The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti is a must read. This is one of the books that is hard to put down. From crying at characters' deaths to feeling happy at Ichmad's accomplishments, this book has it all. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this book. While the book's description interested me, I assumed that it would be a moderately enjoyable book, in which I would read over a few days. I was captivated from the beginning, so much so that I finished the book in two days because I couldn't force myself to put it down and had to see what was going to happen. I think that the Almond Tree is very well written and wonderfully displays ones struggles to gain peace and overcome prejudice. I feel that anyone of any age can truly enjoy this book.
eheinlen More than 1 year ago
This story is passionate, engaging and well-written. However, it was also horrible, terrifying and haunting. I know that it is a story that needs to be told, but I would have been happy to never have read it. Now, I will never be able to get it out of my head.
lizasarusrex More than 1 year ago
This book is a fictional story about a family that had to overcome adversity between Israel and Palestine. The book is broken up into four parts that take place over different periods of a young Palestinian boy from ages 12 to 60. It reads as if it might be a memoir but after researching, I learned that it is indeed just a novel. I was blown away when I found this out, just because it reads so realistically. It's too powerful to not be somewhat of a true story.  Ichmad Hamid, lives in a country where him and his family are unwelcome and hated. All throughout his life he has had to deal with intolerance, violence and grief and he handles it with patience and determination as he was taught by his wise father. This is a great book to read to really see life through someone else's eyes as they lived such an extremely different life then most others.  The characters were extremely well built, making it extremely easy to sympathize with Ichmad and completely fall into this book overwhelming me with emotions to the point I didn't put the book down until completion. You'll be hooked just as I was, by the opening scene and you'll be engrossed in every word until the end of the book.  I give this book 4/5 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Almond Tree reads so much like a memoir that I checked several times to verify that it is a novel. The voice of Ichmad Hamid, whom we follow from age 12 into his 60's, is earnest and authentic. Ichmad, leads us through the Arab/Israeli war from his perspective as a desperately poor Palestinian boy who is gifted in physics and maths. This is an important book, especially now as peace talks are again considered and conflict escalates. I recommend it to all and think it would be an excellent choice for use in a high school English/History assignment.