This book consists of the stories of children living in Palestine and Israel as told during interviews with the author.
But some said sad stuff like, they just wanted peace in their country.
Having children tell us through their eyes what is happening in the middle east makes sitting by and doing nothing near impossible. However, I think Ellis wrote this book for children to highlight how we are all the same people to some extent.
Ellis book is filled with different perspectives and voices Israeli and Palestinian, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish ranging in range from eight to eighteen. Their voices are honest, and their stories give a glimpse into what life is like for children growing up in this part of the world. This book could be used in a Middle East unit, or to give students a perspective on what youth around the world are dealing with.
I loved that this book was written from the perspective of children from both sides of the Israeli conflict. Most of the Palestinian children spoke of unfair treatment, and being bullied by the Israeli army.
Dont get me wrong, I was aware of the situation, and I did care about the violence and bloodshed, however, until reading this book, I did not realize the extent of the situation, especially when it came to the lives of the children living there. As the title suggests, in this book children from both sides of the conflict tell about their experiences living in this war-zone. It hardly seems fair to call them children, though, after reading these, as they have seen and dealt with so many adult issues and such violence. Anger, resentment, animosity, and isolation were typical mentions by the children. Curfews were imposed on Palestinians, as well, causing people to have to stay in there houses, and children to forgo school for those days, impeding their education and their freedom. Although there were strong feelings toward from one side to the other, most children did not necessarily wish harm to the other sides civilians, nor did they want this war to continue. The freedom of each side has been greatly hindered by this conflict and the children would like to see an end to the oppression and violence so that they can live normal lives. Teachers can use this book with 6th graders and up to guide them through an understanding of this ongoing conflict through the eyes of other children. Students can compare this highly unrealistic request her earlier statement, to see how children living in the conditions there differ yet are similar to their own situations here. This could be especially poignant if the students live in an area threatened by gang violence. I was also curious as to whether or not these childrens words were translated by an interpreter or the author, herself.
It's not a hard book to read because of the words, but because of the way it makes you wonder.
Hakim, anak Palestina berusia 12 tahun, hanya punya satu keinginan: secepatnya sembuh dan kembali melawan Israel. Simak tuturan Hakim tentang penembakan tersebut: I was in the street with my friends. Anak Palestina berusia 12 tahun ini telah menyaksikan begitu banyak anak-anak seusianya, bahkan lebih muda, yang dianiaya dan dibunuh oleh tentara Israel. I was walking down the street with my friends one day when there was no curfew, and there were some boys nearby, and the Israelis shot one of them. Wafa, gadis Palestina berusia 12 tahun, telah berulang kali menyaksikan rumahnya dihancurkan oleh tentara Israel. Elisheva, gadis Israel berusia 18 tahun, punya keinginan agar orang-orang Israel dari penjuru dunia datang sehingga orang-orang Palestina terusir dan tinggal di negara Arab. Danielle, anak Israel 8 tahun, tak mengerti mengapa perang terjadi dan mengapa orang-orang Palestina marah kepada bangsanya. Buku yang merekam kisah 20 anak Palestina dan Israel ini sangat jujur dan terbuka. Deborah Ellis, sang penulis, langsung datang ke Palestina dan Israel untuk mewawancarai anak-anak tersebut. CJC juga menyebutkan bahwa beberapa anak dalam buku tersebut menggambarkan tentara Israel brutal (bukankah memang brutal?). Sebenarnya Deborah mewawancara lebih banyak anak, namun beberapa anak Palestina menolak kisahnya dimuat, saat mereka mengetahui bahwa Deborah juga mewawancara anak-anak Israel.
What hurt the most when reading these stories were the ones where the children empathized and sympathised with suicide bombers.
The book begins with a general introduction of the history of the war, then is followed by the 429 names of children killed between September of 2000 and March of 2003, each name followed by the age of the child. At the same time, the only Palestinians the Israeli children ever hear about are the suicide bombers who kill not only themselves, but also any innocent people who may be near them. On top of this, there are also the propaganda themes and anti-Arab images that make their way down to the children, as when one eighteen-year-old states "We, the Israelis have been trying, but how much can we give? I wish all the Jews in the world would come to Israel, and that all the Palestinians would leave and go live in some other Arab country" (Ellis 76).