Fifteen-year-old Mackenzie Hill knows something is up when she arrives home to find her father making a home-cooked dinner, instead of his standard delivery pizza. But nothing prepares her for the bombshell announcement: Mackenzie and her dad, alone since the death of her mother a year ago, are moving to Jerusalem, where her father has taken a position as a visiting professor at a university.
The adjustment from life in Canada to life in Israel is dramatic - though it’s eased somewhat when Mackenzie is befriended by an American girl in her new school. The biggest shock of all comes when Mackenzie faces the wrath of her new friends, new community, and even her own father after she begins dating a Muslim boy.
Deborah Kerbel is the co-author (with her father, Gordon Pape) of the Quizmas books of family Christmas trivia. She is also a writer, editor, and researcher specializing in financial and consumer matters with articles in the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. She has appeared on television and radio. She lives in Thornhill, Ontario.
A good contemporary tale, with an exceptionally fine setting for 12-15 year-old readers.
"... a poignant coming of age story with a twist ... Kerbel is a great writer. With a writing style that is familiar but distinctive at once. She gives a taste of what's there but keeps you wanting more and more. Overall, this novel was a very well done and extremely original. I hope to rad more of Kerbel soon enough."
Like Mackenzie herself, readers are sure to fall under the spell of Jerusalem and its many charms as the author adroitly conveys a sense of the land, its people and its rich history. While she depicts the tension and the ever-present threat of violence simmering near the surface of ordinary life, she also captures the awesomeness of its ancient ties
This book deals with challenging and topical material in a manner appropriate for the young adult audience. The protagonist is honest and na which makes her a good avenue to explore Jewish and Muslim religious traditions, relationships with family and friends, and the sweetness of first love. Patricia Jermey
The novel was a great read; I enjoyed learning a little more about this region, people and culture through the book. It was an insightful story.