by Naomi Shihab Nye

Book, 1999



Call number

J 820 NYE




New York : Simon Pulse, 1999.


When fourteen-year-old Liyanne Abboud, her younger brother, and her parents move from St. Louis to a new home between Jerusalem and the Palestinian village where her father was born, they face many changes and must deal with the tensions between Jews and Palestinians.

User reviews

LibraryThing member DayehSensei
Everything changes for 14-year-old Liyana when her Palestinian father announces their family will be moving from her hometown of St. Louis to Jerusalem, his birthplace. Liyana feels very homesick and put off by the violence and cultural differences at first-- until she meets a Jewish boy named
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Omer. This novel is realistic, necessarily complex, and beautifully written by renowned Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shihab-Nye. "Habibi" is a great introduction into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for youths, and is also a darling love story.
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LibraryThing member angieh1
This book tells a lot of the Palestinian and Jewish cultures and how the 2 cultures aren't particually "friends". One big war, has seperated them. When Liyanna moves from the big city of St. Louis, Minnesota to a small town near Jerusalem, she faces a lot of culture changes. (or as my S.S teacher
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would say, culture shock :-)) Liyanna makes friends at a new school and becomes friends with a boy named, Omer. She starts to 'like' him and finds out he is Jewish. From a Palestinian culture, this friendship is practically "forbidden". How does her family take the friendship? What about her new "big" family of aunts, uncles and cousins? Read it!
Even though there is a little love (kiss, kiss), this book shows how 2 cultures have been seperated for years and how Liyanna trys to break the long-lost bond. If your a girl or a boy, read this book! ~ Rated 4-star because at some times it is too lovey and boring- but is still an amazing read.
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LibraryThing member rachelg2
I really enjoyed this book and not going to lie I was at first uneasy with the fact that Israel is referred to as Palestine, but to some that is what that piece of land is. I loved the way the author connected the two cultures and religions and it shows a true dream of what someday maybe the Middle
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East can accomplish. That specific message I think is one that every child in a Temple, Mosque, or Church should read and learn about; because peace in the Middle East can benefit all three Monotheistic religions.
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LibraryThing member bridgetrwilson
Absolutely wonderful book. Lovely language. Lots of cultural detail. Highly recommended.
LibraryThing member ht_youngadult
A lovely novel. I enjoyed reading a book from an Arab-American point of view, as many books on this topic are from a Jewish point of view.
LibraryThing member bcowie
Liyana Abboud, age 14, and her family move to Jerusalem from St. Louise after her Palestinian father decides that he wants his children to understand where they come from. Liyana and her brother, who have grown up in America, have a little trouble adjusting to the differences between what they are
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used to and what is considered appropriate behavior in Jerusalem. While they are in Jerusalem, Liyana becomes friends and eventually falls in love with Omer, a Jewish boy.

This book is a decent primer to help students understand some of the conflicts between Palestinians and Israelis. The plot of the novel moves along at a comfortable pace and explains some of the differences between American culture and Palestinian culture. The story includes all of these things along with a bit of romance and a sense of impending danger because of the tensions between Israeli and Palestinian soldiers.
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LibraryThing member caitlinsnead
The day after Liyana got her first real kiss, her life changed forever. Not because of the kiss, but because it was the day her father announced that the family was moving from St. Louis all the way to Palestine. Though her father grew up there, Liyana knows very little about her family's Arab
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heritage. Her grandmother and the rest of her relatives who live in the West Bank are strangers, and speak a language she can't understand. It isn't until she meets Omer that her homesickness fades. But Omer is Jewish, and their friendship is silently forbidden in this land. How can they make their families understand? And how can Liyana ever learn to call this place home?
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LibraryThing member JoanAxthelm
What a wonderful book! This story navigates identity, conflict, and teen love with grace and sincerity. I laughed and cried. In the end, I was grateful to have read it. Not many books take on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and this one manages to humanize it and be a quiet call for peace.

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LibraryThing member bostonian71
A little slow at the start, but the book grew on me a little once the pace picked up. (The author's style of putting several loosely connected vignettes at the beginning made me think of a mosaic being put together in random order -- it takes a while to look like anything.) Since this is told in
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third person rather than in first, even though it mostly follows the girl's perspective, the narrative voice could've been more interesting and use more complex sentences. But I did like the little details of life in Palestine, and also appreciate the overriding message about how Arabs and Jews should put aside their anger and start listening to each other.
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LibraryThing member HeatherLINC
A nice little story about a young girl's struggle to make a new life for herself when the family moves from America to Israel. Despite the unrest, continual threat of war and the cultural differences between the Arabs, Armenians, Jews and Palestinians, Liyana gradually finds new friends and
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acceptance in her father's country. At times the plot is a little slow and Liyana is not always believable. However, the book does provide a interesting portrayal of the Arab-Israeli conflict that is occurring in the Middle East.
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LibraryThing member TheLoisLevel
Well written classic work of nonfiction that holds up. Palestine is described exactly as it is. Through the well-written story, Nye presents a balanced picture of what it's like to live in Palestine/the West Bank by including a Jewish character.
LibraryThing member KarenNunez
The story is a very touching story about an American/Arab family moving to the fathers home town near Jerusalem. This story helps you feel the struggles of the family as they try to acclimate themselves to a totally new culture, religions, and rules. I highly recommend this book.
LibraryThing member LaPhenix
I liked the book and enjoyed many of the scenes, but aside from having mixed race and non-white characters, the book didn't really have any of earmarks of an award-winning novel.

Original publication date



0689801491 / 9780689801495

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