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Real Time Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (July 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061869174X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618691746
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #785,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up–This surprisingly slim volume is an exhausting but illuminating read that will provide much-needed insight into life in modern Israel. Kass ably communicates the internal as well as external lives, histories, and observations of a diverse cast of characters, including a naive, conflicted Palestinian youth who believes his heroic suicide will mean glory and financial stability for his family; a guilt-ridden German teenager who needs to know what sins his grandfather may have committed during World War II; a young Israeli kibbutznik escaping the demons she left behind in Russia; and an old, embittered Holocaust survivor who heals himself by making things grow. Readers follow these and other individuals hour by hour as three of them board a bus that is bombed en route to Kibbutz Broshim, near Jerusalem. The climactic explosion occurs mid-book; the remainder is devoted to the aftermath, as survivors and their loved ones attempt to put back together their shattered lives. The reading experience is immediate, and the characters are deeply developed and painfully sympathetic as they find that they are inextricably and unexpectedly connected to one another.–Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. A suicide bomb attack on a crowded Jerusalem bus is the focus of Kass' tense, terrifying debut, told from the viewpoints of the passengers and their families, friends, and lovers. Among the narrators are a German boy wanting to find out if his grandfather was a Nazi; a young woman who has reclaimed her Jewish heritage, which her father denied; and an elderly Holocaust survivor. Their stories draw readers in. Then the bomb explodes, and the second half of the book focuses on the wounded and those who care for them in a Jerusalem hospital. The Israelis and the victims, if somewhat idealized, are drawn with complexity. In contrast, the brief, first-person Palestinian perspectives are flat and distant, with little sense of the Palestinian experience: the Arab doctor is perfect, and the teenage suicide bomber and his mentor are ignorant, poor, filled with hate, and trying to be martyrs. What's unforgettable is the grief and the chaos of the bombing and its aftermath--the stories behind the news headlines. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Having read it, I wouldn't classify it in either category; I'd just have to say that it's realistic.
NK
I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Brian Zielinski
The narration switches back and forth between several different characters, telling one story but also many stories.
TeensReadToo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By NK on January 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was apprehensive about reading this book because I wasn't sure whether it would be from a balanced perspective or whether it would take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Having read it, I wouldn't classify it in either category; I'd just have to say that it's realistic. The book revolves around a homicide bombing of a bus in Israel. It is told through the perspectives of various characters, including a German teenager who's come to Israel to find out about his grandfather who may have been a Nazi, an Israeli soldier, an Israeli immigrant, the 16 year old Palestinian boy recruited as a "Shaheed," the Israeli who imploys this boy illegally, a Palestinian doctor treating the bomb victims in an Israeli hospital, and others.

The author presents a startlingly realistic portrait of what living and being in Israel is like for all of these people. She communicates the emotions and tensions that come with living under such tense circumstances and brings readers into this challenging world, allowing them to see what it's like for themselves.

I highly recommend this book and challenge audiences to try to step out of their secure worlds for a few hours and into the lives of the people in this book. I think it will be an enlightening experience.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Estrin on January 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is the 2004 winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Older Readers category. The award is given each year for the best in Jewish children's literature.

Real Time follows a number of characters hour by hour to the moment when their lives intersect at a bus bombing in Israel, and through the aftermath of the event. We hear the voices of kibbutzniks, an earnest German youth, and even the Palestinian boy who has been persuaded to

carry the bomb. Some characters are followed through the entire book, while others make only brief appearances. The format takes some time to adjust to, but once you become immersed in the story, it is extremely readable.

The book is sophisticated in its construction, in its characterization, and in its realism. Intricate timing allows us to see simultaneous events and to understand how they are likely to become connected. Every character is realistically portrayed as a mixture of good and bad, guilt and hope, victim and oppressor, each dealing with their own unbearable situation. Each person speaks for him or herself, without interpretation by a narrator, effectively and economically revealing the relevant thoughts and emotions. While the events of the story are the stuff of today's headlines, the book's format shows how political situations are really composed of many, many overlapping personal situations. The whole concept of the book is summed up by the character Baruch, when he says "I am part of the story, and Dan, and Lidia, and also the Palestinian boy, the suicide bomber. Like tangled string when you pull it, it gets tighter."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Doctor Justine on January 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Although the reader of Real Time begins this journey cognizant of the impending and catastrophic explosion that connects the lives of its diverse characters, there is nothing predictable about this book. It is a powerful and gripping story, and hooks the reader from the start. Each character is depicted with complexity, from the guilt-ridden adolescent grandson of a German soldier, compelled to discover the truth about his grandfather's past, to the Holocaust survivor trying to create order and beauty on an Israeli kibbutz. These are but two of the lives that are fatefully woven together, and the reader is quickly drawn into their worlds, both external and political, and internal and private. Ms. Kass artfully renders palpable the wide range of often contradictory--and therefore real--emotions that haunt each of the characters, and succeeds in the extremely difficult task of translating the wordless horror of trauma into language. There are no happy endings in this book, at least not in the familiar sense; however, amidst the interminable suffering, Ms. Kass' depiction of deep and enduring love offers relief, and serves to sustain us and give us hope.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on December 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
REAL TIME is set in contemporary Israel, telling a story in real time, in which the lives of so many people come together, minute by minute. The narration switches back and forth between several different characters, telling one story but also many stories.

These characters include Thomas, a German boy who has come to Israel looking for answers about his family. Baruch, a Holocaust survivor who now works on a kibbutz. Vera, another kibbutz worker who is finding her Jewish roots and escaping her tragic past in Odessa. Sameh, a Palestinian working illegally at a diner. Saheh's friend Omar, a reporter, and many, many others. All of these people are different, looking for different things, but there is a moment when all of their lives come together, and it is a tragedy.

So much sadness, so much despair, is evident. Can there be healing and hope for those who survive this tragedy? Only time will tell.

This novel is a breathtaking story, but it's more than that. For one thing, it's a behind-the-scenes look at what is usually seen only on television. And yet it's more than behind-the-scenes; it's the secrets, thoughts, hopes, and dreams of every person involved. The way this story is told, in (as the title suggests) real time, switching back and forth between several narrators, is a part of what makes it amazing. If just one character told the story, so many aspects of it would not be seen. Pnina Kass Moed is a brilliant writer, and the story she tells in REAL TIME is equally brilliant.

Reviewed by: Jocelyn Pearce
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