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Message In A Bottle

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  722 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Bottle in the Gaza Sea should be THE novel for teens on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. When teen Tal Levine witnesses a bombing in Tel Aviv, she becomes despondent. Like so many people, she wants Israel and Palestine to live in peace. One day she puts her hopes into a letter, places the letter into a bottle, and gives it to her brother, asking him to toss it into the
Paperback, 156 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published March 1st 2005)
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I watched the movie based on this book, so the review below is in relation to the movie not the book.

Tal is a seventeen-year-old girl who has moved to Jerusalem with her family. One day there is a suicide bomber that attacks a cafe near her home & she starts to wonder if there really has to be so much hate between Palestinians & Israelis. She writes a letter, places it in a bottle, and gives hit to her brother to throw it into the Gaza Sea. A group of Palestinian boys find and one of th
Jordan Croom
In the midst of a tumultuous situation in Palestine, a young Israeli teenage girl searches out for peace in difficult times. Not expecting anyone to reply, the girl, Tal asks her brother to place a letter she had written crying out for peace into the Gaza Sea. Much to her surprise, a young Palestinian man answers and they begin to email back and forth. Although the two come from different backgrounds, they begin to see that their ideals are not as different as they had once thought. The two begi ...more
Jul 25, 2010 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-eastern
A Bottle in the Gaza Sea By: Valerie Zenatti
Tal, an Israeli teenage girl, writes a letter promoting peace with Palestine. She puts this letter in a bottle and asks her brother to throw it in the Gaza Sea. To her surprise a Palestinian young man answers, and they begin an email relationship. Both Tal and Naim realize that the other sides are not as they had perceived. They grow to depend on each other and the support that their emails and instant messages provide. Over time Tal and Naim fall in
I'm giving this book five stars, not merely because of the level of writing (which is quite good) but more because of the depth of the issues that Zenatti has tackled and the grace with which she tackled it.

A 17 year old Israeli girl has arranged for a bottle with a note - a grasp at peace - to be dropped into the Gaza Sea, hoping a Palestinian will find it and they can begin some sort of communication. A Palestinian does find it, and their emails to each other are scattered throughout the book.
Nov 11, 2013 Cata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro trata acerca de una niña Israelita de 17 años, la cual luego de unos atentados cerca de donde vive, decide enviar una carta a través de una botella por el mar de Gaza, con destino un palestino(a), para así poder poder saber más acerca de el problema entre Palestina e Israel y de como los Palestinos toman esta situación o que hacen para remediarla y poder demostrar que no son tan diferentes.

Creo que lo que más me llamo la atención, es el desacuerdo y el conflicto que hay entre Pales
Sofi Martinez
Nov 11, 2013 Sofi Martinez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este libro se trata de una adolescente de 17 años llamada Tal, que después de escuchar que hubo un atentado cerca de su casa y que murió una chica que una hora después se iba a casar, decidió escribir una carta para una o un palestino(a), y que la tiraran al mar de gaza, para hací poder saber mas profundamente porque ellos los israelitas y los palestinos están peleados y poder tener una esperanza de que entre esos dos países pudiera haber paz y no guerra.

Lo que mas me llamo la atención es que
Apr 11, 2014 Melia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was assigned this book to read for Social Studies and I really liked it! The style of writing helps to learn more than I think any other way would have.
Milly Cohen
Aug 02, 2014 Milly Cohen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A veces, como adultos, es la literatura juvenil la que deberíamos leer. Nos recuerda al adolescente que una vez fuimos. Si la historia es tan buena como esta y tan actual (tristemente) a pesar de haber sido escrita hace casi 10 años, nos da una sacudida que nos deja sin aliento. Ello, sin tener que complicarnos la vida con un lenguaje o una narrativa compleja o poética. Me encanta este libro. Me deja triste porque quisiera que la situación que hoy vivimos en Israel y Gaza, fuera más bien la hist ...more
May 25, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this after seeing the movie. the basic story is the same - the details are quite different. An Israeli teenager writes a letter after a cafe bombing in Jerusalem which she puts into a bottle and has her soldier brother throw it into the Gaza Sea. A 20 year old Palestinian guy finds it and the two begin a secret correspondence which allows each to begin to understand the other. This is a very good intro for teens and young adults to begin to understand the Israeli-Palestinian con ...more
Seventeen-year-old Tal Levine writes a letter in a bottle expressing her frustrations with the turbulence of the Israelis and Palestinians. She hopes for a Palestinian girl to find the letter and to correspond with her by e-mail. Instead a 20-year-old Palestinian man named Naim finds her bottle on the beach. His correspondence is at first rude and abrupt but he eventually opens up to the more emotional Tal. The two share the same frustrations and each feels they can only share their private thou ...more
una botella al mar de gaza: me pareció muy interesante pero un poco fome ya que no es mi tipo de libro porque no tenia mucha acción y era muy romántico lo cual era malo, no me gusto el final ya que era muy inesperado y malo el final.
el tema me impacto ya que los niños mostraban como vivían y como encontraban la forma de buscar paz.
Ils ne se connaissent pas et vont s'échanger des mails pour raconter leur quotidien. Ils sont tout d'abord méfiant mais se rendent compte peu à peu qu'ils ne sont pas si différents. Un livre plein d'espoir qui raconte la guerre Israelo-Palestinienne vue par une jeune Israelienne et un habitant de la bande de Gaza.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I enjoyed the unusual setting of this book-- one character in Israel, one character in the Gaza Strip. As each tries to understand the other, they grow and change. I wish the book had been longer, however, more fleshed out. Nevertheless, recommended!
Frida Polished
" A bottle in the Gaza sea" is a nice book for understanding the political and social conflict between Israel and Palestine but you can't go too deep, the novel offers a very superficial view because it only explores the life of the indirect victim of terrorism. But a virtue of the book is that the problem is focused on both sides. If you are looking for something more complex and more controverted maybe you should try "The Death of Klinghoffer ," an opera by John Adams, it is a more "grown up " ...more
Sep 01, 2016 Yuyu_reads rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J'ai bien apprécié ce roman. C'était une lecture rapide, étant un roman où les personnages principaux s'échangent des courriels. J'ai aimé comment l'auteure a pu me rendre la lecture facile et légère tout en décrivant un sujet si peu anodin. Ça m'a permis de mieux comprendre et de réfléchir davantage sur le conflit israélo-palestinien, mais aussi sur la paix en général. Oui, ça m'a permis de réfléchir en profondeur et de penser beaucoup sur le privilège, les gens et le fait d'être humain. Je rec ...more
Jul 31, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a method of self-defense against increasing Israeli-Palestinian violence, feisty 17-year-old Israeli Tal writes a note and sticks it in a bottle. She asks her brother to throw the bottle in the Gaza sea, with hopes that she’ll meet a Palestinian girl and somehow put a personality to the people she knows must be behind the fence. What she gets is 20-year-old Naim, a scathingly sarcastic, but nice-under-the-surface Palestinian man. The book is a series of emails between the two, and as their un ...more
Regina Lindsey
Jan 17, 2016 Regina Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tal is a seventeen year old Israeli girl who has been brought up to believe that peace with Palestine is possible. Believing that personal contact with someone in Gaza is important to that process, she writes a note, places it in a bottle, and asks her brother to send it to sea when he reports to duty. The recipient turns out to be a sarcastic, angry 20-year old Palestinian young man. The two begin an email correspondence.

This was really hard for me to rate. If I were rating it from my personal
A Bottle in the Gaza Sea is about a seventeen year olds life in Jerusalem during a time of war. When Tal’s brother is sent to Gaza to fight she asks if he would throw a bottle with a letter she had wrote into the Gaza Sea. Tal wishes to communicate with a Palestinian girl like her, but when the first email comes she is shocked to find out that it is from a boy, Naim. The first few emails are rocky because of several cultural misunderstandings that are blown out of proportion, but after a while ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I purchased and watched the film, "A Bottle In The Gaza Sea" only recently and thought it was fantastic. I am a huge lover of Middle Eastern films and books, especially ones dealing with the conflict between Israel and Palestine. When I read that the film was based on the book Une Bouteille dans la Mer de Gaza, published in France in 2005, I HAD to find it, and hope to God that there was an English translation. Thankfully, there was(!) and I bought it right away. I only just finished reading it ...more
Anna Francesca
Jul 22, 2008 Anna Francesca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bright and questioning people, ages 11 and up
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nachdem ganz in Tals Nähe eine Bombe explodiert ist, beginnt sie zu schreiben, um das Erlebte zu verarbeiten. Eines Tages kommt ihr dabei die Idee einen Brief - besser gesagt eine Flaschenpost - zu schreiben, mit der sie Kontakt zu einem gleichaltrigen Mädchen aus dem Gazastreifen aufnehmen möchte. Tatsächlich bekommt sie irgendwan eine eMail. Allerdings stammt diese vom 20-jährigen Naim, welcher den Israelies weder besonders feindsehlig noch wohlgesonnen gegenübersteht und sich auch gegenüber T ...more
Teri Weaver
Feb 21, 2010 Teri Weaver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mid-east-jewish
This Romeo & Juliet-type story takes place “’where all … happened and this is where everything still will happen.’” Jerusalem is seen as the “center of the universe” and the Israelis and Palestinians are people who are “damaging the thing they claim to love.” The 17-year old daughter of a Jerusalem tour guide, Tal, lives in fear of terrorists, their bombs, and violence. She explains to the reader the 1993 peace treaty signed by Rabin and Arafat, along with Bill Clinton (who according to her ...more
Katie G
This book was described to me as "a modern day Romeo and Juliet set in Israel/Palestine." And while I sort of get the comparison, it doesn't really fit. This isn't a story of two teens falling in love. It's a story of two teens (well, a 17 year old and a 20 year old, if I remember correctly) who write emails back and forth and learn more about each other.

The characters here were interesting. They definitely weren't the clichés I might have expected when reading a book on this subject. I felt it
Rayen Arellano
Fue muy interesante,porque la historia partió con una niña que iba normalmente a una escuela, pero se le ocurrió mandar cartas ha gaza por que el hermano era enfermero militar, el ayudaba a la gente que por ejemplo había un atentado el iba con su maletín de primeros auxilios. el papa del eytan prendió la tele la radio, la niña la que mandaba todas esas cartas se llama Tal Lavine ella vivía en jerusalen. En Israel no había tiempo que no hubiera una muerte u explosión

Tal, una chica hebrea de 16
Alila Q
Mar 18, 2013 Alila Q rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Bottle in the Gaza Sea by Valerie Zenatti is a very informative and great book. The story is about a girl named Tal who lives in Jerusalem. It originally begins as a journal but then becomes her letters to a Palestinian she believes she has never met. Tal’s older brother is in the army and she gives him a bottle with a special e-mail address she has set up for mailing a Palestinian and has him put it in the Gaza Sea. Surprisingly someone does answer Tal, a mysterious guy who lives on the Gaza ...more
A bomb goes off in Jerusalem around the block of a teenaged girl named Tal -- a place she has often gone with her older brother for lunch. In her attempts to deal with the shock of the situation, she hits on the idea of having her older brother, who is in the military patrolling Gaza, throw a message in a bottle into the sea in the hopes that a Palestinian girl will pick it up and they can start a correspondence over email. She gets her wish, only it isn't a girl who responds.

This is a five-star
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by The Compulsive Reader for

After a nearby bombing that leaves Tal Levine, a girl desperate for peace in her Israel home, shellshocked and numb, Tal is desperate to reach out to a Palestinian, hoping for proof that they are not all heartless killers. So she writes a message in a bottle and tosses it into the Gaza Sea.

When Naim finds the bottle and its message, he becomes angry. He emails Tal, and slowly the two form an understanding of each other's lives.

But when trag
Carol Ansel
Feb 07, 2014 Carol Ansel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short, but thought-provoking and powerful read. Two young adults, a Palestinian and an Israeli, strike up an online correspondence precipitated by a message in a bottle left on a beach in Gaza. Their opinions of each other develop and change over time; at first, "Gazaman" is scornful and disdainful of Tal with her naive and hopeful view of relations between their two warring peoples, but things change when Tal is witness to a brutal act of violence in Palestine.
Abby Johnson
Nov 09, 2008 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blogged
When Israeli teenager Tal witnesses a bombing, she begins to write. She writes about her life, about how the bombing made her feel, and about how she longs for peace with Palestine. She puts her letter in a bottle and throws it in the Gaza sea, hoping that someone on the other side will find it and start a conversation. She's not expecting to hear from "Gazaman", an irreverant, angry young Palestinian man. Through a series of email exchanges, they get to know each other and Tal realizes that the ...more
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Valérie Zenatti was born in Nice on April Fool’s Day 1970. When she was thirteen she went to live with her parents in Israel, where she did her national service, which inspired her memoir, When I was a Soldier. Even now she doesn’t go out without her survival kit — these days of a book, a notepad and a pen. Valérie now lives in Paris, where she works as a translator of Hebrew. She is also writing ...more
More about Valérie Zenatti...

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“Mi innervosisco facilmente quando penso troppo, ma non voglio smettere di pensare. La mia testa è il solo posto dove non un soldato di Tsahal, non un tizio di Hamas, né mio padre né mia madre possono entrare. La mia testa è casa mia, l'unica casa che ho, troppo piccola per tutto quello che ci devo mettere ed è per questo che mi sono messo a scrivere.” 1 likes
“I'd like to turn the silence right up, but how do you do that?” 0 likes
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