Friday, November 13, 2009

The Shepherd's Granddaughter

The Shepherd's Granddaughter by Anne Laurel Carter was a random selection during one of my last library trips. The cover is intriguing, featuring a shepherdess and her sheep. This book is also the one I used for my Teaser Tuesday post.

I loved this book. I wasn't sure I would at first - the book begins with Amani, the main character at the age of six. However, she quickly ages, and Carter appropriately begins the story at that point when Amani decided she was going to become a shepherdess, taking after her grandfather, Seedo. The family lives in the hills of Palestine and faces escalating tension from the Israelis who are trying to settle their land. Amani's grazing land is taken away as are their olive trees and eventually even their homes. While Amani's father looks for peaceful ways to resolve this conflict, her uncle is angry and willing to fight. Along with the accurate depiction of a current situation, Carter also creates a novel that deals with relationships among families and Amani's coming of age.

One thing also continued to strike me as I was reading. Amani's family lived in the hills, seemingly apart from the hustle and bustle of our modern day world (there aren't many shepherds around these parts), yet despite an obvious disconnect with our modern world, there were points in the book that I was amazed by. Amani and her brother Omar make a trip into the city to use the internet cafe where she then emails a vetrinarian about innoculating her sheep. Her father owns and uses a cell phone, and her mother is an accomplished pianist. All these things initially seem out of character, yet reminded me how this book is not set in some far gone time, but instead is a reminder of what Palestinians are facing currently.

I loved, loved, loved this book.

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Peaceful Reader said...

I have to read this book! Thanks for the great review.

Tura said...

If you liked this book, check out all the books honored by the Jane Addams Peace Association. This was one of their recognized titles in 2009! Since 1953 JAPA has been giving out book awards for children's books that promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence. You can get the whole list of award books at their website: