Sharing Our Homeland: Palestinian and Jewish Children at Summer Peace Camp
Written by Trish Marx and Photographs by Cindy Karp, 48 pp., (Lee and Low, 2010)
This richly-illustrated picture book introduces us to Alya, a Muslim girl, and Yuval, a Jewish boy, who participate in a two-week summer peace camp in Israel.
- The Holy Land
- Off to Camp
- Special Days
- At Home with Alya
- At Home with Yuval
- The Sleepover
- Saying Good-Bye
- Further Reading
- Web Sites of Interest
- Author’s Note
- Pronunciation Guide and Glossary
- Author’s Sources
The good stuff
First, kudos to Marx and Karp for taking on this ambitious, noble, and delicate project. I applaud the choice of following two children through their camp experiences as they learn to respect each other.
- Compelling photography
- Well-written, straightforward prose
- Even-handed depiction of life at home and religious observance
- Quotes from Alya, Yuval, and their families
- Quotes from the camp director, camp counselors, and others associated with the camp
- A new name for cotton candy–”grandmother’s hair!”
- Back matter that discusses the motivation and the research behind the book
The not-so-good stuff
- I would have preferred a book title that was more about the summer peace camp
- Uneven subtitle–Muslim and Jewish Children at Summer Peace Camp or Palestinian and Israeli Children at Summer Peace Camp might have been more appropriate than Palestinian and Jewish Children at Summer Peace Camp
- The arc of the book was hard to follow and seemed disjointed
- In the glossary, Judaism is defined as the religion of Jews, based on the belief in one G-d and the teachings of the Old Testament. Use of “Old Testament” is a Christian perspective.
I couldn’t help but wonder–
- What is the politically correct way to talk about these kids? Is Palestinian and Jewish correct? Should it be Muslim and Jewish? How was this manuscript vetted?
- Why did Yuval’s family leave Morocco?
- Why does Yuval’s moshav have a high fence with razor wire for security?
- Why does one girl on the book cover choose not to use the peace sign like all the others?
Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
Submitted to the Jewish Book Carnival