Balcony on the Moon: Book summary and reviews of Balcony on the Moon by Ibtisam Barakat

Balcony on the Moon

Coming of Age in Palestine

by Ibtisam Barakat

Balcony on the Moon by Ibtisam Barakat X
Balcony on the Moon by Ibtisam Barakat
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Book Summary

A stand-alone companion to the award-winning Tasting the Sky, this young adult memoir further examines the author's childhood in Palestine.

Picking up where Tasting the Sky left off, Balcony on the Moon follows Ibtisam Barakat through her childhood and adolescence in Palestine from 1972 to 1981 and chronicles her desire to be a writer. Ibtisam finds inspiration through writing letters to pen pals and from an adult who encourages her to keep at it, but the most surprising turn of all for Ibtisam happens when her mother decides that she would like to seek out an education, too. This memoir is a touching, at times funny, and enlightening look at the not-often-depicted daily life in a politically tumultuous area.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This is a compelling personal history, brimming with humor, wisdom, and empathy." - Publishers Weekly

"This intense memoir paints a dark picture of growing up in Israeli-occupied Palestine, where 'we are made to live with no land, no country, no rights, no safety, and no respect for our dignity.' ... A poetic, deeply felt coming-of-age story. Ages 12+." - Kirkus

"At times humorous and heartbreaking, this work will immerse readers in Barakat's experience, leaving them with - perhaps - a broadened worldview. Highly recommended for upper middle school and high school libraries." - School Library Journal

This information about Balcony on the Moon was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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More Information

A bilingual speaker of Arabic and English, Ibtisam Barakat grew up in Ramallah, West Bank, and now lives in the United States. Her work focuses on healing social injustices and the hurts of wars, especially those involving young people. Ibtisam emphasizes that conflicts are more likely to be resolved with creativity, kindness, and inclusion rather than with force, violence, and exclusion. Her educational programs include Growing Up Palestinian; Healing the Hurts of War; The ABCs of Understanding Islam; Arab Culture, The Mideast Conflict; and Building Peace. The ABCs was selected by the Missouri Humanities Council as one of its Speaker Bureau programs in 2003 and 2004.

Ibtisam has taught language ethics courses - Language Uses and Abuses - at Stephens College (2002). She is also the founder of Write Your Life (WYL) seminars and has led WYL seminars in places including Morocco, Washington, D.C., Missouri, and Ramallah.

In 2001, Ibtisam was a delegate to the third United Nations conference on the elimination of racism, which was held in Durban, South Africa. In 2004, she was a visiting writer at the Creativity for Peace camp, which brought Israeli and Palestinian teenage girls to Santa Fe to provide an opportunity for them to live together in cooperation and peace. In January 2005, she was a moderator at the fourth international Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace conference in Jerusalem, where Israeli, Palestinian, and international faculty members and students work toward finding creative ways to bring about peace for Israel and Palestine.

As an educator, poet, and peace activist, Ibtisam has spoken at the Center for Southern Literature/Margaret Mitchell House and Museum; William Woods College; Missouri Historic Theater; Dartmouth College; Printers Row Book Fair in Chicago; PEN New England; National Writers Union/New Jersey chapter; the International Children's Literature Day/University of Wisconsin; Children's Literature New England/Williams College; North Carolina Center for Advancement of Teaching; Reading the World/University of San Francisco; and various high schools, including the school district of Anchorage, Alaska.

She lives in Columbia, Missouri.

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