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Samir y Jonathan en el Planeta Marte

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  210 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Samir, a Palestinian boy, is sent for surgery to an Israeli hospital where he has two otherworldly experiences, making friends with an Israeli boy, Yonatan, and traveling with him to Mars where Samir finds peace over his younger brother's death in the war.
Paperback, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Ediciones Loguez (first published February 1st 1996)
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Community Reviews

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Rebecca
This tale--of a child growing up in a Palestinian village in Israel who must endure a stay in the "Jewish hospital" for surgery to his knee--was definitely written with an agenda. But it's an agenda that is admirable.

At times fanciful to the point of magical realism, and at other times harrowing, the book is targeted for children 11 and up to send a message of peace. I have been very, very disappointed by the books I have read on the Israel-Palestinian conflict (especially for that age range) i
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Rian
Summary: Samir injures his knee and is sent to a Jewish hospital for surgery. While there, he meets the other kids in Room 6, all of whom are Jewish and all of whom he gets to know.

Response: This is a quiet and thoughtful novel, expressing the memories, hopes, and fears of a young Palestinian boy, and it is not a voice I have ever read before. The writing is respectful and honest, and it feels different from other young adult novels i have read, perhaps because it is not only about a life so dif
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Catherine
This is the first book I've read about life in occupied Palestine - West Bank, and I enjoyed learning something new. I liked learning about Samir through his memories of his friends and family. I loved his English "magic" words and how he tried to help the "princess". I enjoyed seeing the relationships of the children in the hospital wing and how they cared for each other.

Carmi shows the differences in how the Palestinians live compared to the Jewish. She captures the loss of hope and meaning i
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Miss Amanda
gr 4-6 183pgs


1990s, Palestinian Territories / Israel. Samir's family has never recovered from his brother being shot and killed by an Israeli soldier. When Samir injures his leg and must go to an Israeli hospital for surgery, he has a lot of time to think about his family's and his own reaction to the tragedy. Samir also has a chance to meet some Israeli children in the hospital and confront his feelings about them.

I felt like the book was a little slow moving in the beginning. I was surprised b
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Rebecca Owen
This book takes place before that relative peace during the Clinton administration, representing a world very similar to the one of the conflict today. It also won the honorable mention for the UNESCO prize for Children’s Literature in the Service of Tolerance. The main character, a Palestinian named Samir, broke his knee falling off of a bike and has to stay in an Israeli hospital to await a specialist from America. The story is told in the first person and is also filled with remembrances of e ...more
Kristen
Short & Sweet: Samir is a Palestinian boy who has broken his kneecap and must stay in a Jewish hospital until the American doctor can come and perform surgery. Surrounded by kids that are Jewish, he finds that they are not so much different from him. Samir constantly blames himself for his brother's death and he must find a way to heal himself and his leg before he can go home. This novel is a beautifully written story of a boy growing up in an ongoing war zone. Samir is internally strugglin ...more
Tanja
Samir is a young Palestinian boy, terrified by the idea of being sent to an Israeli hospital for treatment. Already tormented by the difficult situation in his home village and the death of his brother, he now will have to share a room with children who he was taught to consider "the enemy". In the course of his stay, he experiences healing to both body and soul. I had never read a children's book addressing this difficult conflict and appreciated that the author did not point fingers or offer e ...more
Linda
What is life like for Muslim children who live on the other side of the wall or in Gaza or the West Bank? What happens when they are injured and taken to the "Jews hospital" as Samir calls it. This is a compassionate story about Samir who has lost so much but gains knowledge and friendship with the other children on his ward.
Michelle
Samir, a Palestinian boy, enters a Jewish hospital for surgery. He blames the Jews for his brother's death, which has torn apart his family. During his time in the hospital, Samir learns more about the other kids in the hospital and their own inner pain.

I wanted to like this way more than I actually did. I had a hard time getting attached to any of the characters, and I had a hard time with the character development. I felt the author left too much out that the reader was supposed to fill in th
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penelopewanders
I received this book as part of a prize I won at a teacher's conference - a box full of books to use with students. As the term is almost ended and we don't have time to read the second book I'd planned with my class, I picked this one up to see if it would be a good one for the last two weeks of class. I enjoyed it, and I think it's an interesting read, but I can't say I absolutely loved it. Not sure how the students will react to it if it transpires I do have enough copies in the box and can u ...more
Elise
I was given this book by a student, and although I appreciate the attempt to humanize the Palestinian-Israeli issue, I found it a little difficult to get through and a little cliche.
Courtney
Samir, a Palestinian boy, has an innocence that I found beautiful as he tells his story of his time in an Israeli hospital ward. This is a sweet fictional story that has little bits of history sprinkled throughout it.
Debbie
A beautiful story about a young Palestinian in an Israeli hospital. Remarkably, written by an Israeli author. Great read!
Dotty
This book was written by an Israeli author in her native language of Hebrew.

Samir and his family are Arabs and live on the West Bank. Samir has been raised to hate Israelis and his family blames the Israelis for his brother’s death. Samir shatters his knee in a bike accident, and the only place equipped to treat him is a Jewish hospital. Samir finds the hospital staff kind and while in the hospital he shares a room with 4 Israeli children. One of the children, Yonatan, becomes Samir’s friend and
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Rachelle
This is a beautiful book. I'm sure I saw things my 10-year old couldn't but it made you feel the loneliness, isolation, and then...hope. Loved it!
Sarah
Love reading books on this subject. Sweet, thoughtful and moving, but lost me at times.
Karen
Samir is a Palestinian boy who ends up in a Jewish hospital after breaking his leg on his bicycle. Since his brother died in politically-motivated shooting, Samir's bicycle accident makes him seem like a childish clown; he also feels ashamed to receive the food and niceties in the hospital since his family continues to suffer at home. Samir starts up an unusual friendship with hospital mate Yonatan, a bookish lad who accepts Samir despite his silence. I guess the story is about how we call all b ...more
Dayna Smith
A Palestinian boy comes to terms with his brother's death in this slow-paced but moving novel. In homage to the bravery of his brother Fadi, who was killed by an Israeli soldier, Samir shatters his knee in a bicycle accident. He must have an operation at the "Jews' hospital." Samir's fever plus the sealing off of territories keeps the boy hospitalized for several weeks in a ward with four Israeli children, including Yonatan. The boys' friendship grows throughout the book. The ending is problemat ...more
Resistance is Futile
When Palestinian boy Samir breaks his knee, he must stay in a Jewish hospital for a special surgery. There, he faces his fears of Israelis and make a new friend. This is a cute story with the we're-not-so-different-after-all moral. Although it may resonate more strongly with the Israeli kids for whom it was originally written, its translation is a good addition to English-language children's literature as well. It was enjoyable and cute, and has a moral that every child in the world can benefit ...more
Kim
Summary: Nothing could be more frightening for Samir. a Palestinian boy, than to be where he is now : an Israeli hospital ward, trapped among the very people he blames for his brother's death. Amid this explosive atmosphere, Samir begins to learn about the Israeli kids around him. He discovers their hurts and conflicts-and hesitantly begins to share his own. This is a story of violence and healing-the story of a boy facing the enemy he has been taught to fear.


Response:
Sandra Strange
Aimed at middle school readers, this novel tells the story of Samir, a Palestinian boy, who must go to an Israeli hospital for treatment. Among the very people whom he blames for his brother’s violent death, he learns about the Jewish children with whom he shares his hospital room, and sees that they share his conflicts, values and hurts. The novel presents a valuable picture of the reality of growing up in Israel and Palestine today. Positive, though young.
Taya
This book was okay. It's all about a boy in a Jewish hospital and the other children he meets there. Samir, an Arab, describes life at home and dwells on the death of his brother. Yonatan and Samir create a friendship focused around "going to Mars" and in the process we realize that we are all the same - every creature on earth and beyond (made from the same elements). It was an okay read but not my favorite.
Sarah
Samir, a young Palestinian boy, lies in an Israeli children's hospital ward. The author tells the classic unlikely-friendships-and falling-of-walls story while avoiding triteness. It was really beautifully written, the kind of book where if you take the time to read it very slowly, every sentence and paragraph holds a little treasure. But for some reason, overall, it failed to motivate me to read it very slowly.
Donna
Slice of Life - Palestinian boy in an Israeli hospital. Israeli-Palestine conflict
Swag
I did not enjoy this book at all. They were just sitting in a hospital and some person would come and give someone candy and this would be the biggest deal ever. Nothing happened and it has totally bored me. Plus I though Nurse Felix was a moo-lester by the way they portrayed him for a while.
Jen
This is a kids book that took me a few hours to read yeserday. Its the story of a young Palestinian boy who ends up in a Jewish hospital for a few weeks. He and the other kids overcome their mutual mistrust and well learn a bit before going back to wherever they come from. A nice read.
Katja
Dieses kleine Jugendbuch erzählt von Samir, einem palästinensischen Jungen, der für eine Operation in ein israelisches Krankenhaus kommt. Es erzählt von der Angst, dem Ankommen, von Träumen sowie der Vergangenheit und Zukunft in der Westbank. Ein leises Buch. (Gelesen 2013)
Lora
There was nothing wrong with this book, it just wasn't something I really enjoyed. I read it as an assignment for my children's lit class. I thought it was a bit boring and I didn't really relate to it. However, it would be a good tool for teaching multiculturalism.
Theodora
This book comes strongly recommended from a friend and I enjoyed it as well. Originally published in Hebrew. It's wonderful when you read a YA story that does not cut corners for kids. I'd say, though, that there is an important message in this book for adults, too.
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