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Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine by [Barakat, Ibtisam]
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Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Age Level: 12 - 18 Grade Level: 7 - 13

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—An endearing memoir from an acclaimed author. This work picks up after the events of Barakat's previous title, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood, which left off in 1971. Barakat's lovely, lyrical style depicts an adolescence that will be simultaneously familiar to readers in its universal themes (struggle to become one's own person, family life and its usual squabbles) and very different in its backdrop of 1970s Palestine. The era was rife with political turmoil—the region was still reeling from the Six-Day War in 1967 and the continued fallout. With dreams of becoming a writer, Barakat embarked on a new path. She found encouragement from the adults in her life, especially her mother, who decided she wants an education, too. Barakat's recollections of her mother's educational pursuits are especially poignant. She reflects on her mother's chafing at the religious and cultural norms that forced her to leave school after the sixth grade and to marry at 15. Barakat wonderfully captures the mood of the time and place once again. At times humorous and heartbreaking, this work will immerse readers in Barakat's experience, leaving them with—perhaps—a broadened worldview. VERDICT Highly recommended for upper middle school and high school libraries.—Elaine Baran Black, Georgia Public Library Service, Atlanta

Review

“Lyrical and moving, Barakat’s first-person, present-tense story catapults the reader into a time when political tensions and the battle for human rights rage on, and the fight, not only for survival, but to have a voice is in full swing. Not to be missed, this memoir is a wonderful additional to any library.” ―VOYA, starred review

“Divided into five parts correlating with the family’s five homes, the book captures Barakat’s growing understanding of the complex dynamics in her parents’ marriage, her outrage at gender-based restrictions, and her determination not to live a life like that of her mother. When her willingness to question and explore opens doors for her, Barakat receives encouragement and support from surprising sources, validating her sister’s statement that ‘being Palestinian teaches you to be ready for any destiny.’ This is a compelling personal history, brimming with humor, wisdom, and empathy.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Told in a first-person, present-tense voice, the episodic narrative deftly combines personal and political events. . .A pervasive sense of loss informs much of her childhood, with a growing realization that no promising future exists for her or her siblings in Palestine. A poetic, deeply felt coming-of-age story.” ―Kirkus, starred review

“In this sequel to Tasting the Sky (2007), a memoir and winner of the Arab American Book Award, Barakat moves beyond her early school years during the Six-Day War and its uprooting aftermath. She focuses on the years 1971–81, when she―a feisty protofeminist―and her family shifted about in the occupied West Bank, trying to find a place that felt safe and like home...The beauty of the writing is its clear-eyed matter-of-fact-ness. Barakat doesn’t plead for sympathy (political or emotional); she just recalls, in concrete detail, this particular world as she experienced it as a young woman, and the result is as inspiring as it is engrossing.” ―Booklist

“Barakat’s lovely, lyrical style depicts an adolescence that will be simultaneously familiar to readers in its universal themes (struggle to become one’s own person, family life and its usual squabbles) and very different in its backdrop of 1970s Palestine. . .At times humorous and heartbreaking, this work will immerse readers in Barakat’s experience, leaving them with―perhaps―a broadened worldview. . . Highly recommended for upper middle school and high school libraries.” ―School Library Journal


Product details

  • File Size: 890 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (October 25, 2016)
  • Publication Date: October 25, 2016
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01DSWBK2S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,007,441 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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on December 8, 2016
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