SAMIR AND YONATAN by Daniella Carmi

SAMIR AND YONATAN

Age Range: 10 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

An Israeli author debuts in English on this side of the Atlantic with a sad but not heavy tale of life and death on the West Bank. His knee shattered in a bicycle accident, Samir is apprehensive about being sent to what he calls the “Jews’ hospital” for an operation. As the surgery is delayed, then followed by a course of physical rehabilitation, Samir forms loose bonds with the other patients in the children’s ward. Meanwhile, in almost an offhand way (“I remember the first time they searched our house”), he paints a grim picture of life in the occupied zone: the privation, the fear, and the devastation of losing his younger brother, Fadi, to violence. Ultimately, wardmate Yonatan, son of an astronomer, shows Samir ways of looking beyond the boundaries of his war-ravaged world, and Carmi lightens the general tone with a final scene in which Samir and Tzahi, a hyperactive tormentor, bury the hatchet beneath twin streams of urine (evidently a required scene in children’s fiction from overseas). Like Arno Bohlmeijer’s Something Very Sorry (1996), or Bruce Brooks’s Vanishing (1999), this hospital story will leave readers pondering the resilience of children in the face of tragedy. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-439-13504-4
Page count: 186pp
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2000




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