Friday, December 30, 2011

Book 26 - Where the streets had a name by Randa Abdel-Fattah - Bethlehem

We first meet Hayaat and her family at the supermarket during the short time they have to shop for groceries between curfews. They are so anxious not to get caught out after the curfew they split up and shop in certain aisles. In the mayhem that ensued for all the families in the neighbourhood they still forget to buy Hayaat a new toothbrush.

Thirteen year old Hayaat lives in Bethlehem with her family. Her older sister is about to be married to a young man who works in Lod so they will live in Ramallah. Her grandmother lives with them and does not keep good health. Her father dreams of the land they were forced off. Her whole family remembers what was while they live in the reality of what is. When her grandmother has a stroke Hayaat decides to take the risky trip to Jerusalem to get her beloved Sitti Zeynep some soil from her ancestral home.

Hayaat's best friend Sammy insists on helping her negotiate the checkpoints, curfews and travel permit ssystems. Together they manage to make their way through many dangers.

Randa Abdel-Fattah takes the reader to the world of Palestine and shows the realities of life for the people there, Palestinian and Israeli. It is a very enjoyable read and I thoroughly recommend it.

Randa Abdel-Fattah's official website