From Amazon: Thirteen-year-old Hayaat is on a mission. She believes a handful of soil from her grandmother's ancestral home in Jerusalem will save her beloved Sitti Zeynab's life. The only problem is the impenetrable wall that divides the West Bank, as well as the checkpoints, the curfews, and Hayaat's best friend Samy, who is always a troublemaker. But luck is on their side. Hayaat and Samy have a curfew-free day...
Before I read this book, I didn't know anything about the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem. I was shocked to read about this conflict, and I'm really glad I learnt something about it.
The thing that surprised me most about Where the Streets Had a Name was the inclusion of humour. Hayaat, Sitti Zeynab and Samy all made me laugh, and I wasn't expecting that from such a serious novel. It provided a light tone, and reinforced the need for the characters to stay positive. Speaking of the characters, each was brilliantly written, and possessed several inspiring personality traits. Even in such dire circumstances, they still got on with their lives and never let anything get them down.
Abdel-Fattah's writing flowed off the page, and she has a fantastic style. It kept me eagerly turning the pages, and made me feel as if I was right in the thick of it all. This book was a real eye-opener for me, and it highlighted the strength and determination of normal, everyday people thrown out of their homes and forced to change their lives. If I was ever faced with a situation like this, I don't know how I'd react, but I hope it'd be similar to Hayaat and her family.