Samir and Yonatan by Daniella Carmi, translated by Yael Lotan
Samir, a young Palestinian boy, must go to the “Jews’ hospital” for a serious operation to save his injured knee. Having just lost his younger brother to Palestinian/Israeli crossfire, Samir is understandably anxious about entering what he sees as enemy territory.
Waiting for the American doctor, he lies in a children’s ward with four other injured children – frightened Razia avoiding her father who beat her in a drunken rage, ethereal Ludmilla who will barely react to even food, rambunctious Tzahi with an Israeli soldier for an older brother, and intriguing Yonatan with a whole other night life of his own. Samir is fed full meals for the first time in his life, the medical staff is only too kind to him, and even the children – each with their own tales of hardship – eventually welcome him one by one. While waiting to recover, Yonatan helps Samir resolve his anguished feelings for his murdered brother.
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult
Published: 2000 (United States)