Sharing Our Homeland

By Kirkus Reviews

Peace is a relative term in this lengthy photographic essay featuring Alya, an Israeli Palestinian girl, and Yuval, an Israeli Jewish boy. They meet in a summer camp in Israel that’s designed to teach children to replace feelings of fearful hatred with respect through dialogue and a sharing of activities. Commonalities and differences are emphasized by addition of the cultural appreciation of foods and religious traditions to the usual summer-camp fun of swimming, crafts, music and sports. A session on emergency rescue, something both children have experienced due to the prevalence of violent extremism, is meant to offer reassurance that authorities work hard “to keep all the citizens of Israel safe.” Karp’s action-filled color photographs incorporate family scenes with the daily camp doings, giving readers a sense of both Palestinian and Jewish life. The difficult political climate is touched on, but it doesn’t overshadow the admirable efforts of parents and educators to instill a healthy, mutual tolerance, the idea being that the beginning of peace requires separate respectful coexistence. A useful teaching tool and discussion starter for multicultural curricula.