Fourteen-year-old Netta Hofman wakes one morning to find that her older brother did not come home the night before. Having just moved from Israel to Los Angeles, the family of seventeen-year-old Adam is stunned and baffled by his disappearance. Adam has not had time to make many friends yet, and he has always been responsible, the last person who would leave home without a word.
Netta and her parents desperately seek answers to Adam's disappearance. Could he have run away with a girl he met on-line? Was he abducted for ransom? Or, is it possible that Palestinian terrorism is to blame -- revenge for his Israeli father's work?
When Netta makes a new and unlikely friend at school, an Arab boy named Laith, she begins addressing issues of prejudice -- her classmates prejudice against foreign students, her own prejudice against Palestinians, and her family's growing suspicion that Palestinian hatred of Israelis is behind Adam's disappearance.
In this thoughtful and suspenseful book, Gloria Miklowitz explores issues of Middle Eastern relationships through the eyes of young people on both sides of the age-old conflict. The surprising conclusion to the novel will leave readers with a renewed understanding of other people's needs, fears, and beliefs.
AWARDS and RECOGNITIONS
ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, Gold Medal, Juvenile Fiction (2003)
Association of Jewish Libraries, Notable Books for Older Readers (2003)
Independent Publisher, Winner, Multicultural Fiction (Young Adult) (2004)
Book Sense, Children's 76 (2004)
Association of Jewish Libraries, Jewish Stars (2005)
Catholic Library World
"Although this book is small in size and paging it is jam-packed with moral and ethical issues that young people need to address and discuss in a healthy forum. . . Highly recommended for libraries that service middle grade students ages 12 and up. Because of the issues raised, it would also serve as the basis for book discussion in catechetical and religious education sessions."
"Veteran writer Miklowitz tells a suspenseful, heart-wrenching story that conveys both the facts and anger behind the ancient Middle-East conflict."
"This short but thought-provoking book puts a personal face on an age-old conflict. The author, whose recent young adult titles include Masada and Secrets in the House of Delgado, again focuses on a Jewish heroine whose family faces persecution and mystery. This enjoyable story is a good choice to spark lively discussions in the classroom."
School Library Journal
"Almost unbearably suspenseful, the plot will keep readers turning pages as fast as they can. Nicely interspersed with the events is a thoughtful examination of some of the reasons behind the age-old strife between Palestinians and Israelis."
Church & Synagogue Libraries
"Gloria Miklowitz masterfully breaks through the stereotypes to help teens examine human relationships and consider how we cannot let blind hatred rule our lives. This riveting work of fiction is recommended for all teens, grades 9 and up, who are interested in peace."