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Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak [Kindle Edition]

Deborah Ellis
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Deborah Ellis's enormously popular Breadwinner trilogy recounted the experiences of children living in Afghanistan; now Ellis turns her attention to the young people of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After visiting the region to conduct interviews, she presents their stories here — in their own words. Twelve-year-old Nora, eleven-year-old Mohammad, and many others speak directly about their lives — which prove to be both ordinary and extraordinary: They argue with their siblings. They hate spinach. They have wishes for the future. Yet they have also seen their homes destroyed and families killed, and live amidst constant upheaval and violence.

This simple, telling book allows young readers everywhere to see that the children caught in this conflict are just like them — but living far more difficult and dangerous lives. Without taking sides, it presents an unblinking portrait of children victimized by the endless struggle around them.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-9–This collection of accounts from young people between the ages of 8 and 18 portrays the sapping toll of war on their lives. Instead of looking toward their futures, these kids are watching their backs. Instead of playing games of pick-up ball in the street, they're lobbing rocks at soldier's and dodging tear gas and bullets. Israeli students are pressed into military service. In Palestine, the scanty settlements are overcrowded and unsafe. Each narrative is prefaced with a short historical or personal background description providing a point of reference for the sentiments expressed. Ellis effectively remains absent, serving as chronicler for these ordinary kids in traumatic circumstances who are tinged by varying degrees of anger and despair. One Palestinian student, 11, states: "I don't know any Israeli children. I don't want to know any. They hate me, and I hate them." Another child comments: "If I had three wishes I would become a doctor and I would be famous, maybe as a writer. And I would be able to walk." And another individual says that she has just one wish: "I want the war to end, so I can keep living in Israel and raise my children here." Average-quality, black-and-white photos of the narrators and of scenes in Ramallah and elsewhere are included. It's a wonder these children have any wishes at all. An excellent presentation of a confusing historic struggle, told within a palpable, perceptive and empathetic format.–Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Powerful first-hand accounts of conflict in the Middle East by children, for the library rather than whole-class use. -- Geoff Barton Times Educational Supplement Perfect for use in discussions of current events, terrorism, conflict and - on the flip side - mediation and reconciliation. School Librarian

Product Details

  • File Size: 651 KB
  • Print Length: 114 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0888996454
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (May 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005R17YQK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #869,020 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Kids Speak April 15, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would have never heard of this book if I hadn't read a blog about the Middle Eastern wars. When I found out that this book was banned in a school district in Canada (which surprised me for some reason), I knew that I had to borrow a copy of it. Something about books being banned just bring the rebel in me out. I also thought it would be a good idea to read to my seven year old twins, but after reading it, I think they're not quite ready for that yet. But I am.

This is a very quick read but also a powerful read. These are 20 different perspectives of kids who are living in Israel and Palestine. The differences between both countries are stark. The voices of the children are similar and yet dissimilar. Their experiences reflect the mood of their country people and their voices are clear and honest, even if they are confused as to why their countries are at war or on how to solve the issues at hand. They all share a common fear of being attacked unsuspectingly and all of them share grief at its most powerful when loved ones and friends, neighbors have died in attacks. I cannot imagine how to live in such situations with grace as these kids do. Surprisingly, there is not a lot of anger coming from the kids but there are several questions as to how to resolve this conflict without any more deaths.

After reading my library copy, I decided to buy a copy of this book simply because I want my kids to read this in a year when they're a bit older and need to know more about the world. Each of the 20 voices that are in this book are very important in this world because they are the voices of the children trying to survive a war that began long before their birth. It is essential to keep their hopes and dreams alive for a better world.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful. September 22, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very quick read, but has a lasting impression. When reading this book, I didn't know whether I wanted to cry, scream, be angry, grateful for what I have... it brought out so many emotions. I absolutely cannot believe we live in a world so full of pointless hate. I think we all know the basics of what is going on between Palestine and Israel, but this book captures in depth the real emotions coming from both sides. In some ways it is a call to action for peace. Very worth reading.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Boring August 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Had to read for school and it just got so boring but the concept of the book as kind as cool if you like reading books like that
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By tee jay
"I know there is a war going on, but I don't know why.... I hear about bombs on the television, about bombs going off in shops and on buses and it makes me afraid."

FEAR! Fear of soldiers, fear of bombs, fear of guns, fear of dying, but most of all, there is fear of each other.

Author Deborah Ellis visits this war torn region to see how children live their everyday life in the middle of a terrifying war.

Read this book to find out how peoples' choices of war are affecting Palestinian and Israeli children's lives.
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