- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Vertigo; First Edition edition (August 30, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 140122234X
- ISBN-13: 978-1401222345
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 47 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,138,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less Paperback – August 30, 2011
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-Glidden travels to Israel on a program that offers Jewish young adults first-time trips to the country. She details her two-month excursion through cities and deserts, seeking to view Israel with an objective eye. The soft watercolor palette and realistic art complement this thoughtful exploration of the role that cultural heritage plays in the search for personal identity.α(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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But, once there, the author sees the nuances and complications present in all matters. Case in point: her blood starts to boil when she first takes sight of the wall. Far from ignoring it or giving it an impassioned defense, Sarah's guide gives the wall a review from both sides ("My personal opinion is that, while hate how it hurts many people, every day that I wake up and there's no attack on the news, I think about the wall.") Her take: it was "refreshing to hear [him] speak of the negative aspects of the wall without being prompted." This exchange is emblematic of what you'll find throughout the book.
Sarah Glidden has crafted a fine remembrance of her trip. It speaks to the book's authenticity that other reviewers on these pages that have taken the same trip vouch for her accuracy. The work is heightened by her excellent drawings...especially her annotated maps.
Sarah knows how to describe and draw the emotions so accurately that I felt like I was there with her. Like the author, I recently took my first trip to Israel. I wanted to go there because I wanted to see where all the action happened. I wanted to enjoy the experience Sarah described so vividly of Masada, wondering what the "real" story was and the unforgettable moments going up to Jerusalem. I only had a 22-day trip and stayed in luxury hotels, so I missed some of the experiences of waking up out in the wilderness. I didn't get to know many Israeli natives as she and Melissa did, although I did spend quite a bit of time with the 3-4 that I did meet. I wanted to see the places where Jesus lived. I wanted to see the country that God chose for His own special purposes. We aren't so different though, because I also looked at faces and wondered where they were coming from and what they were thinking. Sometimes I misinterpreted a scowl, because I read too much into it. I too had places I would love to have gone and would probably have been fine, but chose not to, not really because I was afraid (I was with strangers for several weeks in a strange country that people are often afraid to visit), but just because. Even though we are so different in age and spiritual beliefs, I could physically feel the process she was going through about whether to go to a certain place or not.
She got to tour the Old City in Jerusalem without a guide, as I would have loved to have done. She bartered for sandals, exactly what I wanted to barter for as we were quickly rushed by and given no chance to stop. I truly enjoyed watching as Sarah and Melissa got turned around and as they ended up in a few situations I know I would have ended up in if I hadn't been in my controlled group environment. I envied them that experience while at the same time I know I wouldn't have done it. I almost felt myself being nervous and wondering what was going to happen.
The important thing about this book is her emotional journey, when she had no intentions of having an emotional journey. She fought her own biases and probably added a few. I have to admit that I was holding my breath in a few of those experiences, going through them with her.
The book is unique because it is in a very creative comic-book style, beautifully drawn by the author, who is an extremely talented artist.
So, do I understand Israel even better after visiting it and seeing it from her perspective? Yes!
Sarah is Jewish and lives in New York. From afar she reads and keeps up with the Palestine/Israel conflict. But in order to truly understand it and see if her own opinions/beliefs are right, she and a friend join a heritage tour group. They travel to Israel and here Sarah holds "trial" in her mind at various stops, weighing what she is hearing with what she believes to be the truth. But along the way she discovers something...about the people that surround her and even more about herself.
Sarah does an excellent job of being honest with herself and her opinions. And this is a must read for anyone, regardless of age, gender, or religion.