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The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
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The Almond Tree (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Michelle Cohen Corasanti

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32415134,192 (4.4)18
Member:Betty30554
Title:The Almond Tree
Authors:Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Info:Garnet Publishing (2012), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Read, reviewed & rated
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti (2012)

  1. 10
    I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey by Izzeldin Abuelaish (Anonymous user)
  2. 00
    The Drone Eats With Me by Atef Abu Saif (StreedsReads)
    StreedsReads: A Palestinian's perspective of the life-long, multi-generational, Arab-Israeli Conflict, with an emphasis on surviving due to pure luck, maintaining one's hope for the future, expressing universal wartime themes, and a lack of bitterness, despite life's tragedies. A life story that tugs at the heart strings.… (more)
  3. 00
    The Hunt for the Engineer: How Israeli Agents Tracked the Hamas Master Bomber by Samuel M. Katz (StreedsReads)
    StreedsReads: Seemingly minute decisions create long-term, adverse scenarios. Details the life of another gifted Palestinian student whose life path could have been the same as this one, but the story ended quite differently. A gripping read!
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Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
This book needed to be written. It's timely and just this past week, some in power are beginning to see what the author wrote about. It's refreshing to see news from a different point of view to what our biased news depicts. It's important in all cases to see things from both sides, to consider the issues and problems of both sides.

The Almond Tree is well written and brings the conflict in Gaza to a personal level. One boy and his family, living on occupied land and constantly in danger of death or imprisonment, witnesses his family being ripped apart by politics and religion. His father is imprisoned wrongly and things are never the same. The decreasing family lives in utter poverty without even shelter from weather, a powerful statement of strength, love, and the will to live. The boy, Ichmad, does his best to care for his family and eventually raises himself to a position beyond expectations and dreams. He's a brilliant child and young man, recognized by an early teacher who urges the boy not to discard his gifts.

Before you decide who is right in the Gaza conflict, read this book. While it's a difficult and eternally ancient conflict, we in America hear only what our government wishes us to hear. The book is about one family, one young man who overcomes the hatred that surrounds him to do something good for the world.

This is truly a Good Read. I recommend it to everyone who might enjoy this kind of work that keeps the reader's interest throughout. An intelligent read for those who value same. ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
I definitely enjoyed reading this book, although it is filled with tragic, heartbreaking events. But at the same time it gives you a sense of hope for the future. One wouldn't think that possible. The only downside to the book is the political opinions/agenda the author has included - but it doesn't take away from the story. In fact, it might even be necessary.

I do recommend this book - for both men and women. It is definitely not one of those books written for just a female audience. How could it be when a landmine takes the life of a child in the first 5 pages? ( )
  lynnski723 | Dec 31, 2016 |
I received this book free from Goodreads First Read and am very pleased that I did.

I cannot praise this debut novel highly enough. The author who is herself Jewish has managed to tell the story of Ichmad and his Palestinian family in such a way as to make you believe that you are reading a true story.The book covers the years 1955-2010 without seeming rushed through though.


It starts with little Amal unknowingly wandering into a mine-field while chasing butterflies which has tragic consequences for the whole family as they come to terms with what has happened.

Do they take the line of revenge and bitterness espoused by the mother or peace and reconciliation taken by the father?

Ichmad is a brilliant mathematician but how can he study with no school and living in awful conditions in occupied land?

I wanted to know what would happen next while at the same time I didn't want it to finish.

If you only read one book about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people this is the one.

( )
  Northern_Light | Dec 20, 2016 |
I completely agree with reviews of The Almond Tree that compare it to The Kite Runner. The book is both the inspiring story of a young Palestinian boy's rise from a refugee camp to academic renown and an abbreviated history of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the resulting human rights violations. Despite the ongoing conflict and tragic events that occur the book ends on an upbeat, profoundly positive note. The writing style is straightforward and, since there's no material in it that's age inappropriate, I'd recommend it for anyone including younger readers.

I received this book for free through the Goodreads First Read program. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Recibí este libro gracias a Goodreads First Reads.

Corasanti ha logrado con este libro -y de manera espectacular, debo añadir- mostrarnos un mundo que generalmente se reserva a los hombres: el de los paises arabes en guerra.

Una de las historias más conmovedoras que he leído. En las primeras 08 paginas me hizo llorar por primera vez, asi de triste es. Pero tambien es totalmente hermoso. Trata de Ichmad, un joven palestino, que debe aprender a vivir con las consecuencias de sus actos -y en ese sentido me recordó un poco a [b:The Kite Runner|77203|The Kite Runner|Khaled Hosseini|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309288316s/77203.jpg|3295919]- y que mientras lo hace aprenderá a perdonarse y a encontrar un amor que creía imposible de sentir luego de tanto dolor. Y trata del arbol de almendras, una señal de que pase lo que pase, siempre habrá esperanza.


( )
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
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Epigraph
"That which is hateful to you, do not unto another: This is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary - [and now] go study." Rabbi Hillel (30BC - 10AD), one of the greatest rabis of the Talmudic era.
Dedication
To Sarah and Jon-Robert
To Joe who gave me the courage to embrace what I would have preferred to bury.To Joe who gave me the courage to embrace what I would have preferred to bury.
First words
Mama always said Amal was mischievous.
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Book description
In 2003, Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner unveiled a moving and inspirational story set amongst the history of modern Afghanistan. The beautiful story of the love between fathers and sons permeated throughout the novel and helped readers better understand the history and people of Afghanistan. This fall, Michelle Cohen Corasanti’s stunning debut The Almond Tree (Garnet; October 16, 2012; Trade Paperback Original; $14.95) sheds new light on the Arabs in Israel. An insightful and inspiring novel, The Almond Tree recasts a culture frequently seen in the news but often misunderstood. 

In a divided land where family sacrifices supersede individual dreams, The Almond Tree follows the life of a boy named Ichmad in a small rural village. Michelle Cohen Corasanti’s characters convey the spirit of a resilient culture through their actions, their relationships and, most convincingly, through Ichmad’s voice. From his overbearing mother to the death of a sibling, from the pressures of an inter-faith relationship to the fallout of discrimination, Ichmad confronts each challenge with remarkable strength and determination, whether it is political, religious or otherwise. Amidst a background of violence and poverty, this story of perseverance showcases the remarkable tenacity of the human spirit and offers a wholly original, inspirational tale that will remain with readers for years to come.

Cohen Corasanti’s novel brings humanity and clarity to the Arab-Israeli conflict, exploring themes of redemption, family sacrifice and the benefits of education and tolerance. Her personal experience of living in Israel for seven years while attending high school and obtaining her undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern studies from the Hebrew University lends the perspective, insight and ability to craft this story. The Almond Tree respectfully travels a controversial history and delivers an enriching experience that is a testament to the human spirit and a hope for peace.
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A tale of two Palestinian brothers, one full of anger and hate, the other trying to build a bridge through scientific endeavour. Gifted with a mind that continues to impress the elders in his village, Ichmad Hamid struggles with knowing that he can do nothing to save his friends and family. Living on occupied land, his entire village operates in fear of losing their homes, jobs, and belongings. But more importantly, they fear losing each other. On Ichmad's twelfth birthday, that fear becomes reality. With his father imprisoned, his family s home and possessions confiscated, and his siblings quickly succumbing to hatred in the face of conflict, Ichmad begins an inspiring journey using his intellect to save his poor and dying family. In doing so he reclaims a love for others that was lost through a childhood rife with violence and loss, and discovers a new hope for the future.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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