Sunday, June 24, 2012

Two Books Set In Israel

I recently read two novels set in Israel. The first, THE VOICE OF THUNDER, is a middle grade novel. It tells the story of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War from the viewpoint of ten-year-old Mira Levy. The novel doesn't offer any easy answers, but shows the harsh realities of war. One image that has stayed with me was of Mira's uncle, an Israeli soldier, who looted an Arab home and took a young girl's doll.

The second novel, NEXT YEAR IN ISRAEL, is a Young Adult book with a timely theme. Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Levine has attempted suicide because of being bullied at school. After she survives the attempt, Rebecca decides to start her life over at an Israeli boarding school. I enjoyed the uniqueness of the setting, particularly that the students had to attend bootcamp and learn to fire a rifle. It's a totally different take on the typical boarding school novel.

Both books provided a "Calgon Moment." They took me away from my everyday life here in Florida. What books have taken you to a different time or place this summer? Leave a comment and let me know.


  1. Research books have taken me to New York state in 1901.

    Feel as if I haven't read fiction in awhile.

  2. That sounds fascinating, Joyce! I get some of my best writing ideas from research books.

  3. Love the cover on Next Year in Israel -- can't wait to read the book!

    I just finished reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Very dreamlike story set in late 19th, early 20th century. Also very interesting because it's sold as adult fiction (Doubleday), but some are calling it an adult/YA crossover. Haven't heard of many that become crossover after starting out as adult, rather than the other way around, have you?

  4. I haven't read THE NIGHT CIRCUS, but I can think of a few books that were written for adults but that crossed over. THE LIFE OF Pi by Yann Martel, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon, and THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky. I love THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER so I'd recommend it if you haven't read it. As for THE LIFE OF PI, it was too "out there" for me. I read it for book club, but didn't much enjoy it.

  5. Never heard of YA books set in Israel, so I'm really curious about these two. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Happy Weekend!

  6. I definitely enjoyed the setting. I tend to think of Israel as either the ancient country of biblical times or pigeon hole it based on snippets from the nightly news. These books give us a more realistic view.

  7. Nice to read your review of these books, Shannon. This summer I've been reading a few wonderful paranormal novels, which have definitely taken me to a different time and place.