Book Review | Sharing Our Homeland: Palestinian and Jewish Children at Summer Peace Camp
by Trish Marx

Score: 4

Photographs by Cindy Karp

© 2010, Lee and LowBooks.

I will admit, when I received this book from the publisher, I was skeptical. This was coming from a secular publishing house, known for its multicultural books. While they had published some excellent Jewish books, were they going to take a “side” with this one? Having read so many books concerning Palestinian and Jewish issues, I was prepared for the worst. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.

It is wonderful to have a book for children about children that show positive efforts being made toward peaceful reconciliation between Jews and Palestinians. Sharing Our Homeland is especially good, because the Menashe Summer Peace Camp attended by the children in this book will hopefully ensure a future of peace between Israel and Palestine. The descriptions of each child, their family life and the portrayal of the camp experience are sure to have readers interested in knowing where to sign up.

While there are a few minor issues that may be argued when reading the book (e.g. all the children are Israeli citizens, some language in the Holy Land section) overall the text handles “hot button” matters with a directness and balance rarely seen in books on this subject. In addition, while published in a picture book format, the text is most appropriate for older readers, the photographs simply adding a “scrapbook quality” to what is described and discussed.

Grade Level: 5th-9th

Ages: 10-15

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