Book Reviews

Ghaddar the Ghoul and other Palestinian stories

author: Sonia Nimr

date: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books; 2007

short stories

This slim volume of 10 Palestinian folk tales would be an important addition to any library serving teens. While the stories help us understand elements of Palestinian culture, they also illustrate how much we all have in common. The stories offer well written, humorous lessons based in days gone by.

Nimr lives in Ramallah and also wrote the teen novel A little piece of ground.


 The Jacket

author: Andrew Clements

date: Aladdin Paperback Books; 2007

main character: Phil Morelli

Andrew Clements is the award winning author of Frindle.

Sixth grader Phil needed to give his younger brother his lunch money but instead of finding Jimmy, he finds Daniel in a coat that has to belong to Jimmy.

Phil is a white kid who assumed that Daniel, a Black kid, stole his brother’s jacket. When all is said and done, Phil comes to believe that he himself is prejudice. In a rather simple story, Clements takes us into the world of a young White boy who suddenly becomes aware of race. This short 89 page paperback book doesn’t set solve problems, but it does give a rarely seen perception of a White child’s growing awareness of race. Andrew Clements said “I wanted to write a story about the moment when unconscious prejudice rises to the surface, a story that would both explore differences and emphasize our common humanity.” And that he did!