The Lemon Tree (Young Readers’ Edition): An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

Bloomsbury. Nov. 2021. 442p. $12.99. ISBN 9781547607624.
Gr 7 Up–“I wanted to write a history book in disguise,” journalist and professor Tolan announces, “and to make it feel, throughout, like a good novel. Even though the story is true.” Tolan voiced his original; here Rami Medina makes his audiobook debut: his rich, youthful voice hints at an indeterminable slight accent drawing listeners into an absorbing performance. Medina moves effortlessly between the two protagonists—Palestinian Arab Bashir and Israeli Jew Dalia—transcending gender and age as decades pass through Tolan’s chapters. In 1967, almost 20 years after being forced to flee, Bashir Khairi knocked on the door of his ancestral home and was greeted by Dalia Eshkenazi, whose family had moved in when she was 11 months old. That shared home, “against all odds,” will inspire a lasting friendship.
VERDICT Over a decade and a half after his 2006 international bestseller, Tolan’s young readers adaptation—enhanced by newbie Medina

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