Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Shepherd's Granddaughter” as Want to Read:
The Shepherd's Granddaughter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Shepherd's Granddaughter

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  50 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Shepherd's Granddaughter, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Shepherd's Granddaughter

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 374)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
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 1 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
May 13, 2010 Staci rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Christina G
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
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
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
Kate Hannigan
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 2 of 5 stars
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Danielle Ducharme
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
Scott Whitney
A very interesting novel about a Palestinian family and how their lives are turned upside down when an Israeli settlement is built on land which has been used by the family for generations. One side will call it outstanding while the other will call it propaganda. It is very well written and told from the perspective of a young shepherd girl who makes some very interesting friends.
Sarah Al-gadi
قصة أماني الطفلة التي أصبحت راعية للأغنام خلفًا لجدها الراعي، في أحد وديان فلسطين المحتلة. العديد من المغامرات والعلاقات الفريدة تعيشها أماني البنت مع الأغنام، وعائلتها والمدرسة والمستوطنون. تتعرف أماني على شاب من المستوطنين في مثل عمرها، يرفض ما يفعله أهله، لكنه لا يستطيع المساعدة عندما يهدمون بيتها ويقتلعون أشجار العائلة.
Jan 25, 2014 Emily added it
A story of injustice that pulls at your heart and causes you to cry out for action. Touching on the complexity of individual relations in the midst of a complicated conflict - not all Palestinians are violent, not all Jews are violent, The Shepherd's Granddaughter well-describes and communicates one story from one side of a much larger conflict. This book is a story worth reading on a cause worth becoming informed in.
A heartbreaking tale that will help educate the uninitiated about issues not contained in our immediate backyard. A beautiful tale about a young shepherdess who turns out to be very brave in the face of her enemies.
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
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
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
Although I believe the content and subject matter are extremely important, I had trouble really "getting into" the book. I wanted to love this book so badly, but the writing prohibited me from truly empathizing with the main character, Amani. I'm giving the book 3 stars because I think it's definitely worth reading, gives voice to a very human look at a very difficult situation, and can certainly spur some great discussion in classrooms and book clubs, but, sadly, it wasn't everything I wanted i ...more
The Shepherd’s Granddaughter is a short, efficient children’s novel that strikes the right balance between story and social justice—Amani’s life as a young shepherd is just as important as the part of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that’s knocking down her front door. It’s still definitely a book written for children, instead of being written for all ages, but it does what it means to do without beating the reader over the head. An interesting choice for a young reader.
Elaine Bearden
Oct 13, 2009 Elaine Bearden rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to read about the lives of youth in different countries
Really interesting modern day story from the perspective of a Palestinian girl who wants to follow in the steps of her grandfather and be a shepherd. The relationship between the girl - Amani - and her grandfather is lovingly portrayed. His death early on in the book leaves Amani to fight the encroachment of land for her sheep, alone. The narrative suffers from a sagging middle, but by the end, the reader has bonded with Amani in a way that make her losses palpable to the reader.
saja almujaibel
اقرأ الترجمة العربية
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Little Piece of Ground
  • Wanting Mor
  • Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak
  • Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai
  • Burn My Heart
  • Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan
  • Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad
  • Sitti's Secrets
  • Secret Keeper
  • The Crazy Man
  • Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam
  • Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen
  • Taste of Salt: A Story of Modern Haiti
  • Ain't Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry
  • Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood
  • Samir and Yonatan
  • Faten فاتن
  • A Bottle in the Gaza Sea
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
More about Anne Laurel Carter...
My Wedding Dress: True-Life Tales of Lace, Laughter, Tears and Tulle Under a Prairie Sky Bless this House (Our Canadian Girl: Elizabeth, #1) The Girl on Evangeline Beach Night Boy

Share This Book