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One More River

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0853031499
ISBN-10: 0853031495
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-- Banks has completely rewritten her 1973 novel (S. & S.; o.p.), tightening the narrative, making the descriptive passages and dialogue more accessible for today's readers, and removing some racist expressions, as well as references to smoking marijuana. The basic plot remains the same: spoiled, rich Lesley, 14, moves with her parents from Canada to an Israeli kibbutz because her father feels that the family has lost any sense of what it means to be Jewish. They leave behind Lesley's brother Noah, a family outcast because he has not only married his Catholic girlfriend, with whom he has been sexually active, but also because he has converted to her religion. A large part of the novel--set during the days before, during, and after the 1967 Six-Day War--chronicles Lesley's gradual, difficult adjustment, and her growing friendship from afar with Mustapha, an Arab boy. The story is fleshed out with numerous details about kibbutz life, farming, and military maneuvers, which bring a sense of realism. The style is more polished, with the characters' actions, rather than the author's voice, revealing motivation. Some Hebrew and Yiddish words are transliterated more accurately, and Lesley now speaks to Mustapha in his language, thanks to her Arabic lessons, which lends a greater air of authenticity. The glossary is more comprehensive, but readers won't need to refer to it often. A map is a welcome new addition. Where the first edition is popular, purchase of this one is recommended; libraries needing additional historical fiction will want to consider it as well. Its theme of peace is as timely today as when it was first published. --Ellen Fader, Westport Public Library, CT
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The author writes with a subtle blend of emotional honesty and eloquent restraint." The Guardian" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vallentine Mitchell (January 1, 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0853031495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0853031499
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,281,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I originally read this book as a teenager and it literaly changed my life as I later went to live on a kibbutz and later still emigrated to Israel and lived there for several years. I bought this version as a gift to my Israeli daughter in part so that she can learn one of the reasons that she exists. I can't really comment on the changes as it is too long since I read the original.
Lesley is a rich and spoiled teenager living in Canada. her parents take her to live on a kibbutz in Israel. She has to share a room and to learn to live with almost no possesions. Starting as an outcast she gradually learns the language, adapts to working and learns to fit in to her new environment. She also develops a "relationship' with an Arab boy from across the river Jordan.
The story is set just before and during the 1967 Six Day War and helps to provide younger readers with an insight into the history of and politics of the time. It is simplistic in some ways but this is to be expected given the target age of its readers. It also helps to explain the optimism of the time and the assumption that Israeli occupation of the territories would be a short term thing - highly relevant given the ongoing conflict as many readers no doubt have questions about how it all started.
The story of Lesley is enjoyable for younger readers who will be able to relate to her and the history is a bonus. It is of course a story with only one point of view but I feel that it does begin to address the frustration of the Arabs in the area. This is further examined in the sequel "Broken Bridge".
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Format: School & Library Binding
I see why the book had to be rewritten to bring the politics up to date. In rewriting the book, the the characterizations are more complex. For example, it is hinted that Lesley's mother was less enthusiastic about moving to Israel, than her father: this was not mentioned in the original book. Also the characterization of Lesley's father is shown more complexly: with more flaws.

However, in deepening the characters, the author has softened the initial depiction in the original book of Lesley as a spoiled B-R-A-T that you love to HATE, into a spoiled rich girl who is still likeable, and therefore the healing and transformation of Lesley into a young woman of cahracter, by her experience of the land of Israel and the kibbutz,
is a less dramatic, and thus a less interesting story.

However, this is still a highly enjoyable book for both teenagers and adults to read: n enjoyable powerful story of transformation and growing up. I would agree with another customer review that this book should be read along with the young adult novel "Habibi" by poet Naomi Shihab Nye, which tells about a Palestinian teenage girl about the same age as Lesley, so that readers can get both points of view: a discussion of how Lesley and Liyana both love the same land, and how and why they see it differently, could be educational.
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Format: Paperback
I liked this book because it's interesting on every page and it's very realistic. In the beginning of the book I did not like Lesley, the main character. I did not like her because she was very snobby, self-centered, and she judged people by their looks and popularity too much. But as I read further into the book I liked Lesley because she was not snobby and she did not judge people by their looks and popularity as much. I recommend this book to people who like to read about teens and who want to learn about the Six Day war between Israel against all of it's neighbors.
Patricia Randolph 6th grade ASIJ
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Format: Paperback
Banks writes about a complete, real-life situation about a Jewish family moving to find their genuine way of life. "A large part of the novel--set during the days before, during, and after the 1967 Six-Day War--chronicles Lesley's gradual, difficult adjustment, and her growing friendship from afar with Mustapha, an Arab boy. The story is fleshed out with numerous details about kibbutz life, farming, and military maneuvers, which bring a sense of realism." (Fader). Fader provides a perfect description of the plot of the book. Banks also includes Yiddish words with a glossary, which enhances the reading comprehension of the book for knowledge of a different language. This is a top rate novel for kids or teens, especially whom are interested in the Jewish religion, traveling, and war. "The story is set just before and during the 1967 Six Day War and helps to provide younger readers with an insight into the history of and politics of the time. It is simplistic in some ways but this is to be expected given the target age of its readers. It also helps to explain the optimism of the time and the assumption that Israeli occupation of the territories would be a short term thing - highly relevant given the ongoing conflict as many readers no doubt have questions about how it all started." (Shapiro).
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Format: Paperback
Never mind that it's a young adult book. Lynne Reid Banks' work has such a vast scope, it should not be missed by anyone.
The book is set in 1968. Lesley is a typical teenager. She's always trendily dressed, always popular, always the envied one. Then her father announces that the entire family is going to emigrate to Israel. She cries, pleads, threatens, but soon enough they arrive on a border kibbutz. Lesley doesn't speak Hebrew, can't do much in the way of chores, and is at first treated like anathema by her peers. Meanwhile, the conflict between Israel and Jordan escalates. Across the River Jordan, surprisingly lacking in width or depth, she observes over time a young boy whose loneliness reminds her of herself. Despite knowing better, Lesley cannot imagine him an enemy. When war breaks out, the world of the kibbutz seems terribly fragile, but Lesley finds herself fighting as desperately as her neighbors to hold on.
The relationship between Lesley and Mustapha, however brief, is one of the most unforgettable I've ever read about. The final scene of the book still haunts me. I reread it at least once a year.
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