Sami and the Time of the Troubles

by Florence Parry Heide, Judith Heide Gilliland, and Ted Lewin

Ten-year-old Sami and his family live contemporary Beirut, Lebanon. Sometimes the... read more

Ten-year-old Sami and his family live contemporary Beirut, Lebanon. Sometimes the family picnics on a beach and goes to the market. Too often gunfire fills the streets, requiring family members to stay in a basement shelter where they try to remember sunsets, peach orchards and happier times. After the shooting stops, Sami and his friend Amir help clean up rubble in the streets and then to play in their makeshift fort. "We run, we hide, we pretend to shoot, we pretend to die. I see my mother at a stall buying flowers, and she frowns at me. She does not like for me to play this game." Expressing the ambiguity of Sami's life and of a childhood in which maturity means using guns to fight a civil war, this full-color picture story illuminates an experience transferrable to other places in the world. Gilliland's first-hand experience in Beirut contributes a valuable dimension to the provocative book. (Ages 8-11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1992

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