Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where the Streets Had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Title: Where the Streets had a Name

Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah

Published: Pan Australia, 2008

Pages: 252

Summary: Thirteen-year-old Hayaat is on a mission. She believes a handful of soil from her grandmother's ancestral home in Jerusalem will save her beloved Sitti Zeynab's life. The only problem is the impenetrable wall that divides the West Bank, as well as the checkpoints, the curfews, and Hayaat's best friend Samy, who is always a troublemaker. But luck is on their side. Hayaat and Samy have a curfew-free day to travel to Jerusalem. However, while their journey is only a few kilometres long, it may take a lifetime to complete.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: There aren’t too many young adult novels set in the Middle East.  Where the Streets had a Name is quite a refreshing and different read as it is set in the Middle East.  Hayaat is on a mission to get soil from her grandmother’s home so that her grandmother will heal and get better health wise.

I really liked reading about Hayaat’s story as she told it.  There was a lot of hinting about what had happened to Hayaat’s face but you don’t find out for quite a while.  I thought that Hayaat was a really great main character.  I also liked Samy as he provided a kind of comic relief at times in the book.

There are quite a few funny parts to the story.  I honestly thought that the whole book would have a very serious tone but not all of it did.  That’s not to say that there aren’t any serious parts because there are.  There are some very sad parts about Hayaat and her family.

Where the streets had a name is a look into life in the Middle East and how there is conflict and a lot of diversity within the people who live there.

I thought that the ending of the book was quite a nice ending.  It was quite a hopeful ending and I thought it was really fitting within the story.

I really enjoyed reading Where the Streets had a Name and will continue to read more by Randa Abdel-Fattah.

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