Earlier this year, I caught part of a radio interview with Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish on KUOW. The glimpse into Dr. Abuelaish's devastating, but ultimately hopeful story compelled me to request a copy of his recent autobiography, I Shall Not Hate. For me, the best books are those that probe the depths of human experience. I've encountered a large number of such works written by Israelis and Palestinians, that often, as is the case in Dr. Abuelaish's memoir, transcend the divide between these respective peoples and offer hope for coexistence and friendship.
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish was raised in the Jabalia Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. Despite his family's impoverishment, he excelled in school and became a distinguished doctor and infertility specialist. His medical expertise along with his personal commitment to treat all human beings as equals earned him great respect among both Israelis and Palestinians. He commuted weekly to his position at an Israeli hospital, unable to make the return home nightly to his family in Gaza because of the time and difficulty of crossing the border. A father of 8, he and his wife, Nadia, instilled the same values of education and human equality in their 6 daughters and 2 sons. Several of his daughters attended peace camps in which they made lifelong friends with Israeli counterparts. Then, tragedy. An Israeli air strike hit the Abuelaish home in January, 2009, killing 3 of his adolescent daughters and a niece.
What makes this book--indeed, this man--remarkable, is his response to such life shattering devastation. Rather than resorting to anger and revenge, Dr. Abuelaish finds comfort in the hope for his living children, in the memories of the daughters he lost, and his belief that education and promotion of understanding between peoples is the only path to peace....more
Loved the concept of this picture book -- characters have city names and represent the many cultures that make up the USA. Just beautiful. My favoriteLoved the concept of this picture book -- characters have city names and represent the many cultures that make up the USA. Just beautiful. My favorite Chris Raschka book yet!...more
Poetic, lyrical, tough, stream of consciousness of so many moments. Each "chapter" (most are 1-3 pages long) like a poem or songs on an alubm, with eacPoetic, lyrical, tough, stream of consciousness of so many moments. Each "chapter" (most are 1-3 pages long) like a poem or songs on an alubm, with each still sufficiently narrative. Loved the glimpses at such a host of characters...
Favorite line: "You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad." p. 33...more
The true story of President Obama's coming of age as a bi-racial American, written just after he finished law school and several years before the starThe true story of President Obama's coming of age as a bi-racial American, written just after he finished law school and several years before the start of his political career. This is a rare and beautifully written memoir of honesty and deep insight. ...more
Jim of the title is based on the character of Jim from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. My Jim is actually the life story of Jim’s wife Sadie, as tJim of the title is based on the character of Jim from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. My Jim is actually the life story of Jim’s wife Sadie, as told to her granddaughter in the early post-slavery years. As both a reader and an aspiring writer, I gained a great deal of respect and admiration for Nancy Rawles as I read her beautifully crafted and meticulously researched third novel. I was reminded of the great power of historical fiction as I cried through the last 15 pages of the book. It really rekindled my love of this genre. I was wow-ed as well by Rawles’ pages long acknowledgements section, in which she thanks the “spirits, angels, scholars, and artists” who helped her to write My Jim. I can't wait for the opportunity to meet her May 20-23 during the 2009 Seattle Reads events....more