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The Shepherd's Granddaughter

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  235 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Amani longs to be a shepherd like her beloved grandfather Sido, who has tended his flock for generations, grazing sheep on their family's homestead near Hebron. Amani loves Sido's many stories, especially one about a secret meadow called the Firdoos. But as outside forces begin to encroach upon this hotly contested land, Amani struggles to find suitable grazing for her fam ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Groundwood Books (first published August 5th 2008)
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Jun 05, 2010 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fiction, 2010
If you needed any more proof that banning - or trying to ban - a book will cause more people to read it than before, I am it. I first heard of this book just a few weeks ago, when it became a suddenly controversial issue in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and in the news. It is a book promoted by the Canadian Library Association and in grade 7 & 8 curriculum, but came under fire for being biased against Jews. Thankfully, it wasn't banned in the TDSB (or anywhere). But the furore cer ...more
Mar 12, 2010 Bob rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Students of propaganda and other forms of manipulation
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn't as simple as made out in this one-sided story. The author has taken every bad thing ever done by any settler, made up a few more, and inflicted them all on the hapless heroine and her family.

In real life, the Israelis haven't built a new settlement in ten years. The govt in the area where this family lives (near hebron) is the Palestinian Authority.

If settlers were encroaching on their lands, the Palestinians would have appealed to the Israeli courts (whi
Oct 05, 2008 Ryan rated it really liked it
This is an important book that should be read by everyone because it brings Palestine to life through Amani's world. It is good book on its own, but I read "The Boy who Dared" at the same time and the experience made it even more powerful.

Helmuth spoke out against what a majority of people now believe was an evil regime, Hitler and the Nazis. This makes him a freedom fighter, a hero. As I read of Amani's life, I began to question my own government's support of Israel, a country that exists large
Teri Weaver
Feb 22, 2010 Teri Weaver rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mid-east-jewish
This author expertly crafts a story that juxtapositions the ancient with the modern, the shepherd and the cell phone. Amani, known as “sheep girl” to some, is a young girl who desires to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a shepherd. This is more difficult that she imagined because Israelis occupy the land and are turning it into settlements. Living in a world of her ancestors’, Amani practices the traditional, Muslim law. The muezzin alerts the prayer times and her family responds. She is ...more
Apr 06, 2010 Jonathan rated it did not like it
Nonsense. Pure nonsense. If I could give this book not a single star, believe me, I would. If an author is going to select to write about such a complex, intricate topic, she should be sure that she actually puts in some research and doesn't fill the story with imagined nonsense just to provoke some emotion from the reader. Stories this biased and untrue should not even be permitted to possess a space on a library shelf as they have the ability to give readers completely false ideas and instigat ...more
Steve Cran
Jul 28, 2011 Steve Cran rated it it was amazing
Palestinian life under Israeli occupation. Seedo the grandfaather in a Palestinian extended family thaat has has had afamily shepherd for thoousands of years passes on thee responsibility to his granddaughter even over the objections of the rest of thee faamily member. Amani is the young girl who chooses shepherding over school. She enjoyes sheperding until something traumatic happens Israeli settler from AMerica take part of her land for settlement building. It becomes unsafe for her to take th ...more
C.E. G
Jul 09, 2011 C.E. G rated it really liked it
Considering the topic is one of the most hot button political issues in North America, I'm not at all surprised that people have tried to ban this book from school libraries. But as with many book challenges, it sounds like many of the challengers haven't actually read it. If they had (with an open mind), they would see that it's a balanced exploration of the Palestinian side, and that the story calls for nonviolent responses to the complicated conflict. This interview gives a little more inform ...more
May 13, 2010 Staci rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who are against Censorship
Shelves: 2010-reads
When I finished this book I couldn't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to remove it from libraries. This book does not make Israeli's out to be evil people, but it does bring to light some of the issues that Palestinian's live with on a daily basis. I feel that this book is important because it gives notice to both sides of the story and portrays each side in favorable and unfavorable lights. Yes, Israeli's are portrayed, at times, as tyrants pushing their way into the lands oc ...more
Melissa Sommer
This book tells the story of a Palestine girl, Amani, who lives with her family. Amani's family has a vineyard, olive grove, and a herd of sheep. The shepheards grandfather, Seedo, teaches Amani while she is being homeschooled. However, trouble breaks lose when Seedo dies and terrible things start happening to the farm, where Amani and her family are living. I thought this book started off slow, but then once I got into it I couldn't put it down. It had a lot of information about the Palestine a ...more
Kate Hannigan
Jul 22, 2010 Kate Hannigan rated it it was amazing
Kudos to Anne Carter for taking on a challenging topic -- perhaps THE most challenging topic in today's political climate. She gives voice to a population never heard from in American literature, let alone children's lit. She may be criticized for the perspective she takes in "Granddaughter," but the call to ban this book is ridiculous. It is a great launching point for discussion and nothing to be shied away from.
Jan 26, 2009 Susie rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen
This was an interesting book to get the Palestinian point of view. It was slow paced - I think to reflect the kind of life these people led. Israelis are definitely the bad guys in the book. The ending leaves you hanging and was disappointing.
I consider myself a politically moderate person. I do not consider myself an intolerant anti-Semitic bigot. I definitely do not believe in excessive violence as a problem-solving tool. I've attended three bat mitzvahs in my life. I like Jews. I'm saying all of this so that you can fully understand the implications of the statement I'm about to make:

Reading this book made me want to go to Palestine and kill Israelis.

For those fine patriots reading this review and getting ready to break down my d
Pearls Magazine
The Shepherd’s Granddaughter
By: Anne Laurel Carter

Click here to visit our site for book recommendations, recipes, fun how to's and much more!

Since the time Amani was six years old, she wanted to be a shepherd just like her grandfather. Her family disagreed saying she was a girl and much too young. Her cousins and brother would tease, but Amani’s dream still came true. All Amani wanted to do was to travel up her grandfather’s hill letting the sheep graze and enj
Apr 20, 2010 Donna rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Amani and her family who for generations have lived near Hebron keeping sheep. Armani wants to follow in her grandfather's footsteps and become a shepherd. Naturally every culture has it's ideas of the proper way to raise a girl and her parent's try to resist. The grandfather seems to endorse Amani becoming his apprentice so she quits school and spends her days with her grandfather learning how to care and raise the sheep. But this story is more than about Amani becoming a s ...more
Apr 25, 2010 Tara rated it it was ok
I struggled to get into this book, the third person narration made me feel detached from the story. That being said, once I struggled through the first quarter of the book the story and struggles of Amani's family captured my attention and I continued to read straight through to the end.

I did enjoy the amount of modernization that was worked into the family's rural life: her father's cell phone, the internet cafe, and the recognition of 'changing times'. Not only does Amani's grandfather rule th
Canadian Children's Book Centre
Amani comes from a long line of shepherds and has always dreamt of becoming a shepherd like her grandfather. For generations, the family has grazed sheep above the olive groves of their homestead near Hebron, but now the land is being threatened by Jewish settlements and the construction of a new highway. Then Amani meets Jonathan, an American boy visiting his father who is one of the settlers, and away from the biases and pressures of their families, they discover that despite their differences ...more
This was a difficult book on a difficult subject--the land conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. I had not had much exposure to the Palestinian point of view, which is present in the book through the main character, a young sheep herding girl, and her family. The Israeli side is also presented somewhat indirectly through a boy the main character befriends, but he seems to reject many sides of his people's argument. The book does a wonderful job depicting the conflict as one that is not bla ...more
Winner of the Canadian Library Association's Children's Book of the Year, 2009.
Amani Raheem is a Palestinian who loves sheep. She started accompanying her grandfather and the flocks into the mountain fields when she was six years old. She chooses to be home-schooled so that she can continue to learn her vocation as a shepherd, and, less than a decade later, she takes over the herd when her grandfather dies.
The Raheem family farm lies in the West Bank some distance from Al Khalil (better known as
Jan 11, 2016 Mirrani rated it really liked it
Telling the story of the conflicting sides between Palestinian and Israeli people, this book gives readers a chance to live in the shoes of a Palestinian girl who has gone against the norm and become a shepherd like her grandfather. Many changes happen around her family's land as she grows into the role she has chosen for herself and these things directly affect her livelihood, not to mention the fate of her family.

I was easily caught up in this story and felt I had lived through parts of it mys
Megan Geissler
Aug 15, 2015 Megan Geissler rated it it was amazing
This book is intense. Follows the point of view of a young Arab girl in the occupied West Bank as she grows up tending to her family's sheep and deals with various changes and loss. The depiction of the Palestinian experience is very vivid and mirrors a documentary in its detail. She becomes more perceptive of the world around as she grows, becoming acutely aware that her family's physical space is shrinking due to illegal settlements. The author conveys Amani's confusion and pain and anger conv ...more
Scarlett Sims
My biggest problem with this book is really my own fault.

I don't know anything about the situation with Israel and Palestine, other than the fact that there is a conflict. But when I read this book, I could really tell I was basically being preached to and that this author had an agenda. The book tells the Palestinian side of the story, which from what I understand would be the side most Americans would never hear. That makes this book important. But I didn't like this being my first introductio
Kate Mcatee
Mar 17, 2015 Kate Mcatee rated it liked it
Amani, a young palestinian girl, had longed to be a shepherd just like her grandfather ever since she could remember. The power and safekeeping was something she had been born with, a kind heart and powerful soul was one that had to be a shepherd. After giving public school up at a young age, she knew that her grandfather was going to leave the sheep to her to care for.
After finding her Black sheep in a cliff giving birth to a newborn sheep, Amani finally knew she could handle anything that woul
Jaycie Shearer
This story addresses Palestine culture, giving good lessons, stories, and cultural awareness to young readers. Family is a lesson throughout the book, as the girl longs to herd sheep like her grandfather; when he passes away, the young girl pursues her passion. Although the longing to herd sheep may not be easy to relate, there are ways to find relatable qualities in the story. Elementary schools do not normally mention the countries in the book (Israel and Palestine). This book gives students i ...more
Danielle Ducharme
Nov 27, 2013 Danielle Ducharme rated it liked it
This book was a definite immersion into the palestine culture. For young adults this book gives good lessons and stories along with cultural awareness. The lesson of family is very apparent in the girl's longing to herd sheep like her grandfather, When he passes she pursues her passion. Although this topic may be difficult to relate with because of the cultural differences, there are ways to find similarities between students lives and the life of the girl in the book. The countries involved, Is ...more
The story focuses on a Palestinian girl and her family living on land that had been their family's land for more than a thousand years, pasturing sheep, harvesting grapes and olives from terraced groves. It touches on the military occupation, illegal settlements, international, Israeli, and Palestinian activists, and the temptation to turn to violent resistance in the face of violent theft and destruction of land and property, the wide-spread arbitrary imprisonment of Palestinians, and just a on ...more
Rebel Rider
Jan 18, 2016 Rebel Rider rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended, deep, modern

All her life, Amani, who lives in Palestine, has wanted to be a shepherd. At first, her dream seems to be coming true, but then, the Israelis start to build a road and a settlement on land where her family has lived and pastured their sheep for hundreds of years. Without land to graze her sheep, her dreams will come crashing down.
Normally, I don’t feel too much emotion while I’m a reading book but I got pretty misty eyed when I read this one. As a person who has lived on a cattle ranch my whole
I was interested to read this book as I read that it had been censored in several Jewish schools. After reading it, I am not sure why it was censored as it simply presents a different angle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an honest and respectful manner and ultimately promotes a hopeful message of understanding. Yes, Israeli's are portrayed, at times, as tyrants pushing their way into the lands occupied by Palestinians. But then the author shows how some Palestinian's want to react with v ...more
Aug 20, 2011 John added it
I wanted to read this book ever since hearing the controversy about its inclusion in the curriculum for grade 7 & 8 students in Toronto schools. There was an attempt to ban it, but the school board decided not to. I found the book a quick read, and while it certainly presented the viewpoint of the Palestinians, I did not feel it demonized Israelis. I also did not feel it advocated violence, though there are characters in the book who feel that is the only way to protest the Israeli policies. ...more
Jan 04, 2009 LuAnn rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The story was fine, but definitely young adult or above in content. Why does every author think they have to describe the birth process in such explicit details? Yuck! Especially in the first chapter where we don't even know characters yet. Anyway, the story was interesting, although a little one-sided in political viewpoint. Of course, that's the problem Palestine and Israel seem to have in the real world as well. I never really felt the sense of place well enough to know that this book had to ...more
Feb 15, 2015 Courtney rated it liked it
This book is great for children to see the customs and beliefs of a different cultural. It is an eye opening book that allows you to see the day to day life of a girl from a different country. It shows the importance of family and sticking together through difficult times. It would also inspire children to follow their dreams no matter what others may say and that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Even though someone might belong to a culture, its doesn't mean they agree with and particip ...more
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Anne was born in Don Mills in 1953. She’s been a waitress, baker, store clerk, fruit picker and milked cows. Her all-time favourite job was being a school librarian. She often writes about experiences she, her siblings, her friends, her four children, even complete strangers had, or she imagines they had, and then embellishes. Liberally. She divides her year, writing and teaching, between Toronto ...more
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