Beth Hermes's Reviews > Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak

Three Wishes by Deborah Ellis
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's review
Mar 21, 2010

bookshelves: underrepresented-cultures
Read on February 23, 2010

Three Wishes Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak by Deborah Ellis is a very moving book. I was shocked even before I started the book and read the statistics on civilian causalities in war. I was shocked and appalled that an overwhelming 90% of casualties in war were civilians in 2004, which compares to 15% during World War I.
While I was reading I kept having to turn the page back and remind myself that these were not older educated people, but rather they were children no older than high school. One child in particular that stood out to me was a young 15-year-old boy named Asif. He speaks so bravely and honestly about situations that the American youth are completely ignorant to (which Asif also states) He talks about how he does not want to spend his life in hiding, because even those people die. He also talks about serving his mandatory military time even though he does not believe in it. Even though he is only in 10th grade he is making life decisions as to what he knows will better him for the future.
Another point Asif makes is that he explains how any people use God as an excuse to kill people, or participate in the war, but Asif explains that this is just easy way of avoiding the responsibility of their actions. Asif says “if you decide to do something, you have to live with the consequences, not God.”
As I read this book I was so sad thinking about all of these children worried about being blown up, or going to jail just because they don’t have the right papers to travel a mile to visit his or her grandmother. It’s just so sad.


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Elaine Beth, I too felt for this young man and I love the part about American youth living in ignorance. I never truly realized how much living in ignorance can be a luxury. But it is. Our youth, for the most part, has it quite easy. These children suffer daily, they suffer with the future... one they may never come in contact with.

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