Four Feet, Two Sandals

When relief workers bring used clothing to the refugee camp, everyone scrambles to grab whatever they can. Ten-year-old Lina is thrilled when she finds a sandal that fits her foot perfectly, until she sees that another girl has the matching shoe. Soon Lina and Feroza meet, each wearing one coveted sandal. Together they solve the problem of having four feet and two sandals. As the girls go about their routines – washing clothes in the river, waiting in long lines for water, and watching for their names to appear on the list to go to America – the sandals remind them that friendship is what is most important.

This book has been included in WOW’s Kids Taking Action Booklist. For our current list, visit our Boolist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.

Featured in Volume I, Issue 2 of WOW Review.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Johanna’s grandfather founded the largest clothing store in town and built up his wealth with his own hands–at least that’s the family legend. But when Johanna travels to Israel for a class project, she finds out that the family of Meta Levin originally owned the store. She learns that her grandfather legally acquired the company during the Nazi regime according to the anti-Semitic laws of the Third Reich. Johanna is worried: her family’s wealth is obviously founded on injustice. Should she keep silent, or should she wake the sleeping dogs?

The Lady with the Hat

Yulek, a seventeen-year-old Holocaust survivor, finds himself tragically alone at war’s end. Hoping to begin again, he makes his way to Palestine, where he meets a sad and beautiful Jewish girl named Theresa. Saved from the Nazis by Catholic nuns, Theresa, like Yulek, is uncertain about her place in the postwar world. Together they struggle to rediscover the joy of living. Meanwhile, a mysterious English woman sets out on her own search for the long-lost nephew that she has spotted in a newspaper photo of Jewish refugees. Perhaps by finding him, she will also find some long-hidden part of herself.

When I Was a Soldier

At a time when Israel is in the news every day and politics in the Middle East are as complex as ever before, this story of one girl’s experience in the Israeli national army is both topical and fascinating. Valerie begins her story as she finishes her exams, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves for service with the Israeli army. Nothing has prepared her for the strict routines, grueling marches, poor food, lack of sleep and privacy, or crushing of initiative that she now faces. But this harsh life has excitement, too, such as working in a spy center near Jerusalem and listening in on Jordanian pilots. Offering a glimpse into the life of a typical Israeli teen, even as it lays bare the relentless nature of war, Valerie’s story is one young readers will have a hard time forgetting.

A Hand Full of Stars

A teenager who wants to be a journalist in a suppressed society describes to his diary his daily life in his hometown of Damascus, Syria.

The Boy Who Ran with the Gazelles

A desert nomad woman has no milk, so brings her pet gazelle for her son to nurse. One day the boy and the gazelle wander off, and the pet gazelle finds a herd of her own kind. She protects the boy and he learns to run and feed himself. Hunters discover and capture him. He is terrified and does not eat. Finally, he escapes to rejoin his herd.