Tuesday, March 4, 2008

STBA Winner Lauded in New Zealand

Creating Readers, a blog run by staff at the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, exists to help create motivated and engaged young readers. They cover children's and YA literature (especially from New Zealand), literacy research, and ways to get, and keep, kids reading.

They recently reviewed Real Time by Pnina Moed Kass, the 2004 Sydney Taylor Book Award gold medalist in the Older Readers Category. Here's what reviewer Janice Rodrigues said:

You probably hear about the complexities of the Israel-Palestinian situation almost every week on the news. Real Time by Pnina Moed Kass is a frighteningly real minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day depiction of how quickly lives can change by acts of terrorism.

The story is set in contemporary Israel. The book is strung together through narrations by Thomas, a German boy on a mission to find out more about his grandfather, Vera, a Jewish girl trying to escape her distressing past, Baruch, a Holocaust survivor working on a kibbutz, Sameh, a Palestinian boy on an assignment and his friend Omar, Dr Ibrahim Stitti, a Palestinian doctor working in a hospital in Israel and Clive Burleigh, a Middle East news correspondent.

The format of the book is brilliant as it sets the pace for the events that unfold. The author Pnina Moed Kass says in her interview that writing this book seemed to be her only act of release from feelings of overwhelming sadness, bitterness and incomprehension.

This book was the winner of the 2004 Sydney Taylor Award. Read this book and get a feel for the effects of terrorism from different points of view.

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