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"When a war ends it does not go away," my mother says."It hides inside us . . . Just forget!"
But I do not want to do what Mother says . . . I want to remember.
In this groundbreaking memoir set in Ramallah during the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, Ibtisam Barakat captures what it is like to be a child whose world is shattered by war. With candor and courage, she stitches together memories of her childhood: fear and confusion as bombs explode near her home and she is separated from her family; the harshness of life in the Middle East as a Palestinian refugee; her unexpected joy when she discovers Alef, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. This is the beginning of her passionate connection to words, and as language becomes her refuge, allowing her to piece together the fragments of her world, it becomes her true home.
Transcending the particulars of politics, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood is an illuminating and timely book that provides a telling glimpse into a part of the Middle East that has become an increasingly important part of the puzzle of world peace.
Winner of the Arab American National Museum Book Award for Children's/YA Literature
“In vivid, beautiful prose, Ibtisam Barakat transports readers into a place few Westerners have ever seen—the interior life of a young girl and her family in the occupied West Bank. This book, appropriate for readers young and old, holds literature’s great power: the power to humanize the ‘other,’ and to therefore change the way we understand our world.” —Sandy Tolan, author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East
School Library Best Books of the Year, IRA Children's and Young Adults Book Award, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), NCSS-CBC NotableTrade-Soc.Stdy, Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice, ALA Notable Children's Books, USBBY Outstanding International Book, IRA Teachers' Choices, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, Booklinks Lasting Connection, NYPL Books for the Teen Age, Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List, Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award ML
Tasting the Sky
A Letter to No One
1981, Surda, West Bank
Like a bird clawing The bars of a cage And wishing them branches, My fingers grasp The bus rails before...