A Little Piece of Ground
Publisher: Macmillan Children's books
12-year-old Karim, in common with most boys his age, dreams of being a champion footballer. Unfortunately, his life in Ramallah is severely hampered by the presence of Israeli troops and tanks.
Between curfews, Karim and his friends clear a patch of wasteland to use as a football pitch and sneak off to play whenever they can, but when the soldiers return, Karim finds himself trapped and in real danger.
Elizabeth Laird’s new book has provoked accusations of bias in favour of the Palestinian cause, but has also garnered much praise. She writes movingly about what it is like to live under the daily gaze of enemy gunsights, and is particularly eloquent at describing Karim’s feelings of shame and impotence, which are matched only by those of anger and desire for revenge.
A Little Piece of Ground cleverly combines an exciting story with pressing political issues and as such is sure to encourage passionate debate.