TeenLit Book Reviews

October 2000

A Stone in my Hand

Cathryn Clinton

Rating- 3 Ages 11-15 Characters: The two main characters in “A Stone In My Hand” are Malaak and her brother Hamid. Malaak is an eleven-year old girl growing up during the first intifada. Despite her young age, she is able to see through the violence and sadness that she is subjected to everyday, and manages to find strength inside of herself. Hamid, her older brother is very opinionated about what he thinks is right and wrong, and isn’t afraid to stand up for his beliefs. Despite his mother and sister’s urging, he does what he believes is right in the fight for Palestine’s freedom. Setting: “A Stone In My Hand” takes place in Gaza City during the first intifada. Preview of the Plot: “A Stone in My Hand’ is about an eleven year old girl’s life during the first intifada, and how she manages to cope with the sadness and violence that surrounds her. Her father disappeared because of it and her brother becomes a possible victim to it due to his involvement with a group of young radicals. After her father’s disappearance, Malaak deals with her sadness by refraining from talking to everyone. Everyone that is, except the dove, whom she named Abdou, that she found on the roof the night her father left As Malaak’s brother becomes more and more involved in a radical group, Malak’s starts see beyond just what surrounds her, and becomes aware of a connection she shares with hr father and brother- strength. My Thoughts on the Book: The author of “A Stone in My Hand” managed to portray the feeling of a young girl growing up in the hardships of the intifada very realistically, in a way that made me feel the violence and sadness that Malaak dealt with everyday. Although Malaak, is but a child, if she were living in Palestine today, she would be fighting alongside her brother, despite her fears. Her mother and sister, Hend, would be upset about Hamid’s involvemnt with radical groups (for fear of his safety), yet would be proud of him for standing up for himself, his beliefs, his rights, but mainly for his country… for Palestine. My favorite part of the book is the nursery rhyme that is translated at the beginning of it. It is what affected me the most, and actually convinced me to read the book. I was a little disappointed that Malaak didn’t share the same feeling as the girl who sang the nursery rhyme, although I can see and und