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The Voice of Thunder

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West Jerusalem, early June 1967. Ten-year-old Mira Levi and her best friend Gili Moser share an awful secret. They have discovered a new radio station called The Voice of Thunder. Broadcasting from Cairo in accented Hebrew, it threatens the obliteration of Israel: "We will throw you and your whole country into the sea. We will march in your streets and into your homes." On June 5 the attack begins and Mira and Gili's school is hit. War has begun.

The two friends and their families are confined to a basement shelter of their apartment complex while the war continues above. Mira, afraid of what might happen and worried about her father fighting on the front, prays for safety and wonders: "In a war where both sides are praying, how does God know which prayers to answer?"

As the international crisis unfolds, Mira struggles to verbalize her concerns about family, friendship and the future of her nation. Only in her diary can she express her fears that none of them will survive this conflict.

118 pages, Paperback

First published May 7, 2012

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Mirka M.G. Breen

2 books9 followers

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5 stars
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4 stars
18 (31%)
3 stars
15 (25%)
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1 (1%)
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2 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews
1 review
June 26, 2013
One of the less-known episodes of the 1967 War between Israel and its Arab neighbour -countries is the way the Israeli population felt before the victory was announced. Mirka G. Breen’s The Voice of Thunder fills the gap by telling this story, from a ten-year old girl’s perspective. What does a war look like when you’re a little girl going to school and your father is away at the front? How do you feel when the adults, supposed to protect you are themselves panicked? What did the word “war” mean in the pre-internet and media era, when there wasn’t even television in Israel and one of the only information sources was the threatening voice emerging from the enemy’s propaganda radio station, Egypt’s “Voice of Thunder”?
These are some of the questions that Mirka Breen’s book addresses through the friendship of Mira, the main character and Gilli, her best girl-friend and neighbour, two fifth-graders living in Jerusalem and their adventures during these seemingly never-ending six days of fear and incertitude but also mutual help, solidarity and discovery of hidden secrets.
Realistic and tender, Mirka Breen’s book shows at once her skills at reconstituting a little girl’s universe with no false note, and at keeping the suspense until the end, and by displaying a subtle political consciousness, manifested through her main character’s awareness and empathy at the suffering of those who lost the war.
I do highly recommend this book !
The Voice of Thunder
Profile Image for Ruth Schiffmann.
26 reviews7 followers
June 11, 2012
Reading The Voice of Thunder by Mirka M.G. Breen made me realize that I don't read enough middle grade fiction. I read this in one sitting, because once I got started, I couldn’t put it down. The author has taken these big issues: war, prejudice, intolerance, and filters them through the eyes of two ten- year-old Jewish girls living in Israel in 1967. Mira and Gili are richly drawn characters: neighbors in the same apartment complex and best friends. They have crushes, secrets, dreams, and they are both amused and frightened by their eccentric old neighbor. They could be any one of our younger selves. But at a time when they’re discovering their own voices in the world and through their own diary entries, they also discover a frightening new voice broadcast over the radio. The Voice of Thunder from Cairo threatens the annihilation of all Israeli Jews. As uncles, fathers, and friends go off to fight, Mira and Gili are left to make sense of how their world is changing and what it means for their families and themselves. This is a beautifully written, compelling story you won't want to miss.
Profile Image for Sherry Ellis.
Author 7 books56 followers
June 18, 2012
The year is 1967. The place is Israel. Miri Levi is a young Jewish girl about to experience the horrors of the Six Days War between the Arabs and Israelis. Mira and her friend Gilli, two fifth graders, discover an Arab radio station called The Voice of Thunder. It spews hatred and threats to Jewish listeners. As Mira and Gilli listen, their fears escalate. The whole thing reaches a climax on June 5th, when the bombings begin.

Author Mirka M. G. Breen used her own childhood experiences to create a gripping story filled with Jewish culture, tension, and well-paced action. The author also does a commendable job tackling issues like prejudice and intolerance. The characters are believeable, and ones that ten-year-olds could relate to.

The Voice of Thunder is a wonderful book for readers ages ten and up. It's an excellent account of this little-known period in Jewish history.
Profile Image for Karen.
Author 7 books121 followers
June 19, 2012
I loved this book. It's the kind of story I would have pondered and re-read when I was a girl, then looked for anything else by this author. The two main characters, Gili and Mira, are very real, you feel like you know them and want to follow their lives past the time of the book. I gained a new understanding of the Six Day War, one of those events I remember hearing about but at the time seemed so far away. The Voice of Thunder brings you right down into the middle of it, as seen from Mira's point of view. It's also the story of friendship, family and a peek into Jewish culture. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Katie Carroll.
Author 9 books95 followers
January 7, 2013
I love when a story transports me to a place I've never been, and I've certainly never been to Jerusalem in 1967 during the Six Day War. Author Mirka Breen paints this world from the perspective of ten-year-old Mira, who is wise for her age. Mira proves a wonderful character to share the fear, the hope, the danger, the confusion of war. This fearless story poses important and hard questions of life, not only for a young Jew, but for all people.
Profile Image for Pam.
Author 11 books92 followers
May 8, 2012
Exciting and intriguing look into life during Isreal's Six Day War. The story follows 5 th grader, Mira and her best friend as they experience the pain and uncertainty of a life among enemies. The Voice of Thunder radiates fear for Mira, a Jew, living in Israel after WWII. Mirka Breen deftly captures the little girl's spirit as she bravely faces hard questions about her world.
Author 17 books7 followers
May 11, 2012
The Voice of Thunder is intriguing historical fiction set in Jerusalem in 1967. Ten-year-old friends, Mira and Gili, draw the reader into their fears and struggles and hopes as war threatens and then breaks out. While skillfully addressing tough issues, Mirka Breen creates characters we care about and remember long after the book is closed.

I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Charity Bradford.
Author 11 books87 followers
June 24, 2012
I don't read a lot of middle grade fiction, but I enjoyed this one.
Beware, contains spoilers.

Here's what I liked:
The descriptions.
I loved what Mira named her journal.
How the characters were able to look outward and consider the children on the other side of the war.
The emotions the characters went through.
I thought the idea of the old oak getting knocked down but then being replaced by the Western Wall was a beautiful image.
I think several things touched me specifically because I just finished studying the Old Testament. It made the situation and the emotions the Jewish people felt as they touched the temple wall for the first time more powerful for me. I cried with them.

What I struggled with:
At first it was hard to figure out the Point of view, but I finally got it.
I wanted more information or depth but I understand why it wasn't given. This is MG and the subject matter was handled appropriately for that genre.
Profile Image for Michelle.
81 reviews3 followers
September 24, 2013
I love reading stories about other cultures in different times and far off places. I am especially drawn to the Jewish culture and their struggles through the holocaust. I don't know why, I'm just fascinated, in a horrified way, by that part of history. This book is about two girls in Jerusalem during the Six Day War. While interesting, the writing was just ok for me. I have not had the opportunity to read about that particular event before so I did learn something new, which is always good. I hate that I didn't love it because I know the author put her heart and soul into writing this book. Perhaps others will love it (and according to the reviews many people do love it) so I do not want to dissuade anybody from reading it. it just wasn't my cup of tea!
Profile Image for Medeia Sharif.
Author 18 books427 followers
September 20, 2016
Mira lives in a time of fear. She has to take shelter because of the bombing above ground. It’s Israel in the 1960’s, a time of war. She’s afraid for her father, who’s a soldier. Another thing to add to the alarm is an Arabic radio show called “The Voice of Thunder,” in which the Egyptian announcer promises obliteration of the Jewish state.

This book seemed so authentic. I love middle grade that puts me in another time and place. Mira, her friends, and family are wonderful characters. Even though people's well-being and safety are at stake, Mira's diary writing, curiosity, interactions with people, and other childhood qualities and activities add softness to an otherwise frightening situation.
Profile Image for Rosalie.
201 reviews
December 14, 2013
Remember the 6 day war very well as my son was born at the end if it and I wrote in his baby book that now there would be peace in that part of the world. Not yet anyway!!!
Interesting insight into a world that was very different than my own. Am always amazed by how much I can learn from middle school fiction.
Profile Image for Marcia.
Author 3 books26 followers
February 7, 2016
I enjoy historical fiction and found The Voice of Thunder to be thoughtful and engaging. Mira is a lovely well drawn character and I could easily feel and see the tension and confusion of the Six Day War through her young eyes. I appreciated the realistic details throughout that brought this not as widely known story of Jerusalem alive for me from one captivating page to the next. Recommended!
Profile Image for Leo.
33 reviews2 followers
March 15, 2014
I enjoyed the book very much however the font needs definite work. It is microscopic unless set to the two biggest settings. The story itself is interesting and gives insight into an interesting period of time. There are good lessons to be learned.
Profile Image for Jennifer S..
14 reviews
July 2, 2012
The Voice of Thunder offers a peek into the West Jerusalem of 1967. Seeing it from the point of view of the adventurous Mira and Gili presents the facts in a safe, and sometimes humorous, manner.
Profile Image for Joe Boudreault.
123 reviews1 follower
May 1, 2017
This is a novel aimed at young adults. But I found it good for older readers because for one thing, it deals with an important episode of the history of Israel, and for another, it gave that episode some real sense to younger people who did not live then. It is clearly told and has a few gems of wisdom from the characters in regards to a small country at war for its very survival.

Two best friends, Mira and Gili, are having a tough time figuring out why their entire world is immersed in a war. In the process, Mira, a very inquisitive girl, wonders about the implication of war against her Jewish family and why the world does the things it does. Her teacher has already told her one proverb: “There’s a universal law … something about order taking a lot of work and effort, and chaos just happening.” Mira looks for the best reasons for order. She has been told stories about WW2, which ended only nineteen years earlier . At one point, she asks herself, “If God is on our side when we win, does that mean the Arab villagers whose houses we saw are in God’s disfavor? Does that mean that God didn’t like us during the Holocaust?”

Her friend Gili tries to disavow the world by standing on her head for a different view. Young girls try these things. Says Gili: “This rotten world has to get better, not me. People are crazy … they throw us off our land, then they torture us for two thousand years, almost finishing us off. Then they offer us our homeland back, only it’s already full of other people. We kick these people out … and they want to throw us into the sea once more. It’s madness.” And so it goes, two young girls trying to understand the attempted annihilation of an entire people. A mad world indeed. But victory comes out of it all by the end of this Six Day War.

It would be for this very history in a novel like this that I recommend this for young audiences. T
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews

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