“This lively collection of eight short stories about Arab teenagers living in Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and a Palestinian refugee camp engagingly depicts young people's experiences growing up in the Middle East.
"These lively stories, with their open-ended questions, will provoke spirited book discussions for teens and adults...Marston's stories, while withholding nothing of the brutality of some of the more controversial aspects of Muslim life, present characters that are three dimensional and easy to empathize with. Her stories are filled with characters that are heroic, generous, and eager to improve their world. " —Chantal Walvoord, Foreword Magazine”
“. . . Marston's stories, while withholding nothing of the brutality of some of the more controversial aspects of Muslim life, present characters that are three dimensional and easy to empathize with. Her stories are filled with characters that are heroic, generous, and eager to improve their world.”
“An enjoyable and often surprising collection of stories about Arab teenagers. . . . The characters are complex and interesting, and the Middle Eastern settings are described in rich detail. . . . A good choice for classes discussing this part of the world or multicultural issues in general.”
— School Library Journal
“With annotations that make it especially useful for educational purposes and young readers, a welcome and human glimpse into an often misunderstood culture.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“A window into often misunderstood and stereotyped Middle Eastern cultures. . . . Marston's sensitive tales feature compelling characters, interesting dilemmas, and vivid language that evoke a Middle East rich in tradition and filled with a love of poetry and learning.”
— Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Multicultural Review
“Though few examples of popular culture depict Arabs in a positive light, Marston's collection is one of the exceptions. Marston, who worked and traveled extensively to the Middle East, has an uncanny ability to understand the Muslim culture and relay her characters' innermost thoughts to Western audiences.July/August 2008”
— Chantal Walvoord, ForeWord
“Reading this collection will be invaluable for Arab American YAs and for all in our culture eager to understand the Arab culture, the Middle East conflicts, and current events.July 1, 2008”
— Claire Rosser, Kliatt Magazine
“A unique anthology of stories, highly recommended to young adult readers everywhere.”
— The Midwest Book Review
“Author Elsa Marston has written a wonderful book about the Middle East...[a] compelling collection ...offers real insight into why the conflicts continue, contracts what Americans think they know and how little they really know about the causes of the conflicts from the standpoints of innocense and tragedy and perilous lives of young children clouded only by the desire for peace.
I read it and I couldn't put it down until I was finished. I hope you will read it too.
This book needs to be in every library.Sunday, Dec 14, 2008”
— Ray Hanania, Middle East Book Review and Announcements (http://ibookreviews.blogspot.com/)
“A realistic portrait of the Middle East that mixes possibility and bleakness in equal measure.August 2008”
— Voice of Youth Advocates