Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Message In a Bottle
by Valérie Zenatti
Age Range: 14+
Seventeen-year-old Tal Levine lives in Jerusalem, the daughter of liberal Jewish parents. She desperately wants answers to the terrible suffering caused by the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis. After a suicide bomb attack on a local cafe that kills a young bride-to-be and her father, Tal decides to send a message in a bottle to Gaza and she asks her brother, who is in the Israeli army, to help her. Tal’s letter is found by twenty-year-old Naim, a Palestinian living in the Gaza strip and a remarkable email correspondence begins between these two young people.
Tal writes as a way of defending herself against despair as she tries to go beyond the violence and to speak in a different language from the hate and indifference that surrounds her. She hopes that by starting a dialogue with a Palestinian it could lead to some kind of mutual understanding. ‘Gazaman’ as Naim refers to himself, is at first a reluctant correspondent and at times mocks Tal’s naivety, but gradually they begin to break down the barriers through sharing their experiences and gaining understanding of each others lives.
An eye-opening, thought-provoking novel from award-winning author Valérie Zenatti, who was born in France but moved with her family to Israel when she was 13. Her experiences inspired this up-lifting book that deals with a modern-day conflict, sadly, as yet still unresolved. Tal’s correspondence with Naim allows her to voice her own feelings in trying to make sense of it all and her personal struggle will resonate with many teenagers. Zenatti weaves an historical account of the conflict effortlessly through Tal and Naim’s correspondence. Beautifully translated from French by Adriana Hunter, this is an incredibly moving book that will appeal to adults as well. Shortlisted for the 2009 Marsh Award for Children’s Books in Translation.