“Ronit & Jamil is as beautiful as it is timely. This modern-day Romeo and Juliet is a story that is at once supremely specific and stunningly universal. The poems stand on their own while holding together a narrative that you want to live inside of long after the final page.” (Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming)
“Writing in clipped, understated verse, Laskin...sensitively describes two lovers weaving their way through social, political, and familial hurdles designed to keep them apart. A lyrical message of peace and love radiates from this relevant and hopeful reimagining.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Supplementary information offers context, including language translations, additional story details, and references to other works. The small, handheld trim size reinforces the story’s intimate feel.” (Horn Book Magazine)
“[T]he modern verse-flecked with Arabic, Hebrew, and iconic excerpts from the play itself-will ease romance-hungry teens into both Shakespeare’s original and the challenging context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A welcome nod to hope in the face of the impossible. (Booklist)
“[A]ccessible verse and universal questions about crossing cultural lines make for a quick and powerful read. An obvious choice to pair with Romeo and Juliet in a literature class, this can also open discussion about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and about bridging cultural boundaries.” (School Library Journal)
From the Back Cover
A barrier fence divides Israel and Gaza. Ronit, an Israeli girl, lives on one side of the fence, and Jamil, a Palestinian boy, lives on the other side. They are only miles apart yet separated by generations of conflict—much more than just the concrete blockade between them. Their fathers, however, work in a distrusting but mutually beneficial business arrangement, a relationship that brings Ronit and Jamil together. And lightning strikes. The kind of lightning that transcends barrier fences, war, and hatred.
Ronit and Jamil fall desperately into the throes of forbidden love, one that would create an irreparable rift between their families if it were discovered. But a love this big can be kept secret for only so long. And soon, the teenage lovers must face the fateful choice to save their lives or their loves, as it may not be possible to save both.
With spare, vivid, and transformative language, Pamela L. Laskin delivers a novel in verse that captures the timeless Shakespearean love story with a modern and essential perspective as two teens try to rise above a war-torn world.