This has been a terrifying and heartbreaking few weeks. We are all struggling with grief, anger, and impossibilities.
Each of us at I’m Your Neighbor Books have different ideas on the path forward for Israel and Palestine.
But we agree on one thing.
The idea for I’m Your Neighbor Books solidified when I read Amit Majmudar’s 2013 New York Times editorial that ended with, “The true meeting takes place when the book opens, and a stranger reads about — and comprehends — a stranger.”
I ask you to read about a stranger.
I just this moment finished the middle grade novel Wishing Upon the Same Stars by Jacquetta Nammar Feldman. The book is about a Palestinian American family that moves to Texas and shares a cul-de-sac with an Israeli American family.
Can their 7th-grade daughters, Yasmeen Khoury and Ayelet Cohen, be friends despite bombs falling on Israel and Gaza and despite Yasmeen’s family having their ancestral Jerusalem home demolished?
Are the girls’ wishes close enough to form a bond?
If you are getting this newsletter, you already believe in the power of children’s literature and you do not underestimate the power of the children (and adults) who read these stories.
Ayelet and Yasmeen are no longer strangers to me.
Their stories are now layered in with all of the news stories I have read these past two weeks. And, as Amit Majmuda promised, I “comprehend—a stranger”.
Can I explain to you what I comprehend? No. That is beyond my ability to express.
But Ayelet and Yasmeen have shown me that we are all wishing upon the same stars.
I’m Your Neighbor Books
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Any US school, library, immigration nonprofit, or community organization can request a single copy of Wishing Upon the Same Stars. All requests will be filled while supplies last.