Determined to Stay: Palestinian Youth Fight for their Village

Jody Sokolower. Olive Branch, $20 (230p) ISBN 978-1-62371-888-6
In this absorbing nonfiction account that draws parallels between the lives of Palestinian and U.S. youth, Sokolower, a white Jewish high school teacher who traveled to East Jerusalem to document the lives of young people in Silwan, writes, “Being in Palestine made me think differently about the United States.” Sara, 16, one Silwan student, fears being teargassed or shot at Israeli checkpoints; eight years ago, Israeli authorities bulldozed her family home. As Sara tells Sokolower, “For a long time, I felt afraid. But I am not afraid anymore.” Sokolower quotes her own students in Berkeley discussing similar fears, and details how her Latinx immigrant neighbors in San Francisco face raids, evictions, and arrest. Alongside numerous interviews with Palestinian youth, who demonstrate resilience and resistance through their engagement with Palestinian hip-hop and dance, Sokolower profiles people such as Corrina Gould, cofounder and lead organizer of Indian People Organizing for Change in California. Sokolower powerfully juxtaposes personal experiences in Silwan alongside examples of racism, structural injustice, and settler colonialism in the U.S., showing how racialized young people in both locations face daily fears of police brutality and housing insecurity while reliving past traumas of displacement and violence. A comprehensive, eye-opening primer, augmented by affecting b&w photos. Ages 12–up. (May)
Reviewed on : 07/21/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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