Friday, May 11, 2007

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

Elkeles is a new Illinois Author. This is her first book.

Amy admits she is cynical, uncooperative and generally obnoxious but determined to maintain her attitude. I've read several teen books lately where the teens admit they are being intentionally unreasonable then proceed as usual. Her father, who she barely knows is taking her to Israel to meet an ailing grandmother she didn't know she had and the rest of her father's family. He is Jewish and she never knew. She finds herself rooming with a cousin of about the same way. Since she is being snotty, the cousin treats her the same way. Its a summer of discovery for Amy. She attachs to her wonderful grandmother. She learns something of the Jewish history and of the war between the Israeli's and Palestinian's and of the heartbreak of the conflict. She falls in love but with several nearly disastrous bad moves first. She shears sheep, goes kayaking as well as other adventures. And begins to lose that loser attitude...
This book is ok, not exceptional, but ok. The setting in Israel and the look at the conflict adds interest. JDW 5/10/07

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