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Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood
Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood

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Ibtisam Barakat (Author)

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 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, this illuminating and timely book provides a telling glimpse into a little-known culture that has become an increasingly important part of the puzzle of world peace.

Editorial Reviews From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 7 Up. This moving memoir of a Palestinian woman's childhood experiences during the Six-Day War and its aftermath is presented in beautifully crafted vignettes. Barakat, now living and working in the United States, frames the story of her life between 1967 and 1970 with a pair of letters from herself as a high school student in 1981. Detained by soldiers during an ordinary bus trip, she was prompted to try to recall her shattered childhood and share her experiences with others around the world. She begins with a description of her three-year-old self, temporarily separated from her family in their first frantic flight from their Ramallah home as the war began. The author's love for the countryside and her culture shines through her bittersweet recollections. Careful choice of episodes and details brings to life a Palestinian world that may be unfamiliar to American readers, but which they will come to know and appreciate. Readers will be charmed by the writer-to-be as she falls in love with chalk, the Arabic alphabet, and the first-grade teacher who recognizes her abilities.Kathleen Isaacs, Towson University, MD

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  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Reading Level: Ages 7 and up
  • ISBN: 978-0374357337

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