A young Lebanese boy experiences loss after a war in a story based on the 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli conflict.
Luli lives in a small town in Lebanon. His favorite activity is to play with his cats: Lucy the Fat, Lucy the Skinny, and Lucy Lucy. During a summer trip to visit family in Beirut, Luli must leave the three Lucys behind, but it’s only for a weekend. However, on the way home from the bustling city—back to his Lucys—his family hears a scream in the sky. His father immediately turns the car around, and they huddle together in a Beirut basement every evening for days, wondering if the bombs will reach that city next. After a month of fighting, a cease-fire is declared. Luli’s family rushes home to find much destruction to their town, and hardest on Luli, only two of the three Lucys appear when he calls. Lebanese-American Charara deftly maneuvers through a child’s view of war. Buildings and lives are lost; Luli knows war is unspeakably powerful, but the mountain and sea are still there. They anchor his peace. Iranian-American Kahn’s watercolor palette changes from warm oranges to cool blues and grays, depending on the mood. But even in the middle of conflict and while surveying the aftermath, the glowing warmth of love consistently surrounds the family. An author’s note adds context to what the Lebanese call the July War.
Sadness is turned to hope and tragedy is turned to strength in this sensitive treatment. (Picture book. 5-10)