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The Almond Tree

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,061 Ratings  ·  1,990 Reviews
The Almond Tree is an epic novel, a drama of the proportions of The Kite Runner, but set in Palestine.

Michelle Cohen Corasanti delivers a universal story of human courage and perseverance in her debut novel. Beginning in a small rural village, a young boy named Ichmad comes of age from the 1950s to 2010 in a journey of enlightenment and understanding of the climate that s
Paperback, 348 pages
Published September 30th 2012 by Garnet Publishing (first published January 1st 2012)
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The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen CorasantiMornings in Jenin by Susan AbulhawaGaza Writes Back by Refaat AlareerFast Times in Palestine by Pamela J. OlsonThe Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappé
Books on the Israel Palestine Conflict
1st out of 215 books — 554 voters
The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen CorasantiDark Side by J.M. BarlogThe Orphan Master's Son by Adam JohnsonThe Rook by Daniel O'MalleyThe Why Cafe by John P. Strelecky
Books won on Goodreads
1st out of 494 books — 180 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 28, 2014 Jana rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star, first-reads
Disclaimer: I do not feel that I am educated enough to judge this novel against real and documented history. The political situation in Israel, Palestine, and the surrounding areas is complicated enough without me taking a ham-fisted swing at it; therefore, I will only be looking at this novel as a work of fiction and weighing it accordingly.

The Almond Tree made me roll my eyes so hard and so often that they now swing freely in their sockets. I have googly eyes. I look like a certain cookie-jone
Susan Abulhawa
Dec 03, 2013 Susan Abulhawa rated it did not like it
I reviewed this novel in a longer essay regarding novels that pervert the cultures and struggles of marginalized peoples. Here is the relevant portion:

Michelle Cohen-Corasanti's debut novel, The Almond Tree, is yet another example. The narrative creates sympathy with the oppressed (in this case, Palestinians) by enumerating the litany of injustices they must endure. Cohen-Corasanti, a Jewish White American woman of considerable privilege, said in an interview that she wrote this novel because sh
Chad Sayban
Death and hardship are the reality of Ichmad Hamid’s life growing up in a Palestinian village ruled over by the Israeli military. From birth, Ichmad has been taught that the Israelis are the enemy as he has seen his siblings killed or maimed by their brutality. But when his mathematical genius gives him the opportunity to study at the Hebrew university, his wrongly imprisoned father is the only person who insists that Ichmad should follow his dreams and espouse peace rather than conflict. Howeve ...more
Estrelya Spica
Dec 27, 2014 Estrelya Spica rated it it was amazing
I was late to find out that I won this book last dec. 1~
I just check my mail and found out that I won~
I was really surprise, it was my first experience to won in giveaway :D
Thank you so much :D

I'm excited to read it x)
I wonder what will I learned and realize after reading this book ^^
can't wait :D


When I received this book last Dec. 17, 2012:

I went home really depressed (because of my exams. I think I will fail, I'm not really good at science especially
Apr 14, 2013 Rowena rated it it was amazing
“Throughout history the conquerors have always treated the conquered this way. The bad ones need to believe we’re inferior to justify the way they treat us. If they only could realize that we’re all the same.”

The story follows the life of Palestinian Ichmad Hamad and his family over the span of half a century, living in a Palestinian village controlled by the Israeli army. Of his village Ichmad says, “Only five years earlier, it had been filled with olive trees. Now it was filled with landmines
Poet Gentleness
Feb 13, 2014 Poet Gentleness rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Recommended to Poet Gentleness by: I won it on LibraryThings giveaway
Shelves: first-reads
I have no pleasure to rate a book with one star, so I'll exceed myself on the explanations.

Before you complain about my rating or my review on my curated space, please read, learn and think about the real facts.
Don’t make a judgement based on what someone told you. Be impartial and listen to both sides. In fact, listen to all sides before you decide for yourself.
If you are rude, you're going to be flagged. If you want to discuss my review, do it politely. I’m always available and you can always
Paddy O'callaghan
Nov 03, 2013 Paddy O'callaghan rated it it was amazing

There is no doubt in my mind that Michelle Cohen Corasanti is one of today's greatest novelists, and most important socio-political commentators. What she's done with The Almond Tree is highlighted the cause of one of the world's most unjustifiably maligned, and oppressed people. She's also produced a beautiful multifaceted story which is in equal parts utterly riveting, shocking, and addictive. If you liked Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, you'll love this.
Angela M
Oct 22, 2013 Angela M rated it it was amazing
Something so terrible happens to a family in a small village in Palestine in the first chapter of this powerful novel and I thought they couldn' t endure anymore . I was wrong ; bad things just keep happening and the loss and suffering was overwhelming . Yet, I am glad that I kept reading - actually I couldn't put it down .

Ichmad , the oldest son , through a rash and immature decision , has to become the caretaker of his family who live in this occupied village. He is extraordinarily intelligent
Nov 04, 2015 Doreen rated it did not like it
Shelves: personal-library
I looked forward to reading this book because of the subject matter; unfortunately, the novel was disappointing.

The book is the fictional memoir of a Palestinian named Ichmad Hamid. Covering the years from 1955 to 2009, the focus is on the extreme suffering of Ichmad’s large family at the hands of the Israeli occupiers. Crisis follows crisis, although Ichmad is able to better his life because of his intelligence.

A major problem is the weak characterization. Ichmad’s portrayal is unrealistic as e
Apr 14, 2016 Libby rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Historians, YA, Mideast Enthusiasts, Social Studies Teachers, Sociologists, Theoligians
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2015 Jen rated it it was amazing
A remarkable story about Ichmad, an impoverished child living in war torn Israel through the fighting between the Jews and Palestinians. A devastating view of war and how unarmed citizens are pulled in innocently striping them of loved ones, necessities and at times, even spirit. The story of Ichmad is of a 12 year old boy who was able to rise above and move beyond the barriers of poverty because of his genius mathematical skills. It cost him loved -ones including his own brother who believed hi ...more
Dec 11, 2012 Elyse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read
This book caught me by surprise. I was blown away! (literally blown away).....from the very beginning of the book!

Its a serious -sensitive -gripping novel ---(excellent engaging-storytelling).

*Ichmad Hamid*, the main character, (and voice), is incredible! We watch him age from age 12 to age 60. An astonishing journey. He is exposed to extreme ugliness in the world --and touches on 'beauty'. His personal gift is his 'mind' (gifted in math and science).

"The Almond Tree" is well written and genu
Nov 26, 2015 E.B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-giveaway, 2013
A Goodreads Giveaway Book

For Ichmad and Abbas, the world was Hell.

One boy would carry that hell around with him like a prison. The other would rise above it, and try to transform it. Both worked toward the same cause: one with a heart fueled by hate, the other with a heart guided by love.

Michelle Cohen Corasanti’s The Almond Tree is the story of Ichmad Hamid--a young boy, growing up in an Israeli-occupied Palestinian village. It's a story of war. Ichmad and his family were the victims of hate,
Ehtesham Khan
Jul 26, 2013 Ehtesham Khan rated it it was amazing
I got a new friend. His name is Ichmad Hamid. Thank you Michelle Cohen Corasanti for writing a good story. I'm biggest fan of The Almond Tree.
Full rating novel..............
Debbie "DJ"
WOW! What a powerful book and such an incredible story. This one got inside me right away, and held me to the very end. It's a riveting account of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict told mainly through the eyes of one family. The family's extremely different viewpoints all held points of validity. I can clearly see how "doing the right thing" can be so different for each person. How can anyone judge another's experience under such impossible circumstances. I wanted to say this is also a story of h ...more
Feb 04, 2013 S rated it it was ok
Shelves: gr-first-reads
This is a debut novel, so I wasn’t expecting that it would be a masterpiece, but it definitely needed a bit more polish.
It was an enjoyable read, and the topic is very pertinent. We are constantly faced with news about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict almost every day, so it was good to read about it. This is the story of a Palestinian boy, who is very intelligent and is caught in the middle of the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs. Through the course of the story, he is faced with the obl
Apr 12, 2013 Raluca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Book source: received for review via LibraryThing

The Almond Tree tells the story of a young boy, Ichmad Hamid, who manages to succeed in life only thanks to his intelligence and good will. Caught in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ichmad's family is left with no home or possesions, so he has to struggle to earn money and survive. Thanks to his natural talent in Sciences, Ichmad receives a scholarship to study in Israel (the country of the soldiers who killed two of his sisters and imprisoned h
May 10, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Wow! This work of fiction grabs you from the start with a heartbreaking bang in the devil's field and continues on as one engrossing page-turner of a read right to the very last page.

The suffering and painful losses (the gifted) Ichmad Hamid and his impoverished family endured during the never-ending conflict between the Israeli and Palestinians was hard to take, but at the same time, this unputdownable story filled the pages with family commitment and hope for a brighter future through educatio

Coleen Cloete
Feb 04, 2013 Coleen Cloete rated it it was amazing
The almond tree was an unexpected and inspiring novel about a history so complex and a war still raging today.

We meet Ichmad when he is 7. The story unfolds over a 50 year time period mixing history, fiction, tolerance, intolerance, shock and the choices that shape our lives and leaves us sometimes, sad, disappointed, hopeful and confused.

Told from a Palestinian view point the author build a wonderful story around probably one of the most controversial and uncomfortable topics in the world today
Diane S ☔
Dec 09, 2012 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
Without doubt this Israeli author has written a searing indictment against the Israeli's treatment of the Palestinians. I am not going to comment on the politics but just comment on the story told. It is very well written, well researched, parts are very difficult to read as our many when atrocities and war take over civilians lives. Regular people just hoping to lead normal lives, with enough money for food and shelter in which to take care of their families. This book opens with a heart-wrench ...more
John Carter
Dec 20, 2012 John Carter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This is one of the most well-written books that I have ever read. This book is amazingly relevent in a time of heightened tension between the Israelis and Palestinians. This book reminds you of the perspective of the Palestinians, which is a perspective often forgotten by the Western World. I recommend this book to anyone. Thanks FirstReads!
Val Walton
May 23, 2013 Val Walton rated it it was amazing
The Almond Tree is more than a beautiful compelling story. It is also very sad. Imagine the outcry if a 3 year old Canadian girl died because she chased a butterfly into a field next to her home. And unknown to her had entered a mine field, deliberately put there to kill whoever entered it.

This is the story of a Palestinian family whose only crime was to live on a farm Israeli settlers wanted.

The family, forced into a hovel and then a tent is pushed to the brink of extinction. The two oldest son
Aug 15, 2013 Kelley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Novel received courtesy of giveaway.

I loved this novel even though I could only read small chunks at a time. It usually doesn't take me a week to read a 350 page novel! However, the author wrote so beautifully and so vividly that sometimes I just had to take a break.

"The Almond Tree" is about the way the Palestinian people have been forced to live for the past several decades. Politics aside, as a Westerner, I had absolutely no idea this forced/enforced living arrangement was going
Dec 09, 2012 Britany rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, first-reads
The Almond Tree was an explosive look at the war between Israel and the Palestinians. While, I feel like most of us live in the bubble that is the United States there are numerous other groups of people fighting for their political freedom. This book was an eye opening fictional account of a young boy who saw more horror in his first 12 years than most of us will ever see. This novel had amazing story telling and heart wrenching circumstances, leaving one boy to change the course of his life by ...more
A great story, albeit one sided, of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am glad I finally read this book, I liked it, with its fast pace, it’s a quick read and a great debut novel.

On one hand, I can see the value of, and I agree with, some of the points less-than-enthusiastic reviewers have made (e.g. abundance of clichés, heavy handed on the drama, unrealistic high number of tragedies occurring to a single family, the fact that it has exclusively a pro-Palestinian perspective, etc.).

While I d
Courage, I realised, was not the absence of fear: it was the absence of selfishness; putting someone else's interest before one's own.

4.5 stars. A beautiful, heartbreaking debut novel about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I especially appreciated that the author (a Jewish American woman) chooses to show both sides of the story. She describes her characters with so much compassion that you understand everyone's choices, even though I would not have though this posssible at the start of the book
Aug 04, 2013 Nicolle rated it it was amazing
This book was so engaging that I couldn't stop reading long enough to change my status from 'to-read' to 'currently reading'. When I entered to win this book on Goodreads First Reads I thought it would be an average "ok" read but how wrong was I! I learnt so much from this book about life in Israel and to be honest it was extremely shocking. Of course I know there is depravity in many parts of the world including Israel but I just didn't realise the extent of the conflict and hatred between the ...more
Julie Fischer
Michelle Cohen Corasanti has written an enlightening book on the consequences both politically and emotionally when Palestine is to give up part of it's country's land to the tortured Jewish people after World War II. I was unable to put this book down once I began reading the story. The characters and story were both well developed. I felt that this was a great history lesson for myself. World News unfortunately often only presents one side of the story.
Glenda L
Jul 19, 2013 Glenda L rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book from Goodreads and am so glad I did, as I probably would not have read it. Carol's review is so good, please read it. I really don't know much about the Middle East other than what I see on TV or read in the newspaper. This book put a lot of things into perspective. I couldn't put it down. It is beautifully written.
Sep 02, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I won this via the goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. This was an excellent debut novel. I am grateful for authors who use their gift to bring us awareness. The novel is set in Palestine, in a rural village with Ichmand and his family. The story begins with Ichmand's little sister getting killed by a land mime. A few days later they are forced out of their home by Israeli soldiers. That is where the devastation begins. It is hard to sit somewhere, safe, and read about what thes ...more
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Follow The Almond Tree

Michelle Cohen Corasanti grew up in a Jewish home in which German cars were boycotted and Israeli bonds were plentiful. Other than the blue-and-white tin Jewish National Fund sedakah box her family kept in the kitchen and the money they would give to plant trees in Israel, all she learned growing up was that after the Holocaust, the Jews found a land with
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“You cannot go back and make a new start, but you can start now and make a new ending” 80 likes
“Hatred is self-punishment.Do you think they're feeling bad because you hate them?” 53 likes
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