Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Staff Pick #2

Ran across this review still on First Regional's webpage. I'm sure this will be lost when they finish revamping.

Shadows of Ghadames won the Batchelder Award for 2005 and it deserved it! I was also lucky enough to read this years winner, An Innocent Soldier by Josef Holub. Both galleys were in my eager hands prior to winning the awards thanks to Dr. Atkinson from UofA.

The following reviews and suggested books have been compiled by members of the First Regional Library staff. If a title is highlighted, click on it to find more information about the book. **Last Updated 3/11/05.**

The Shadows of Ghadames by Joelle Stolz & Catherine Temerson (Translator) Reviewed by Maggie Moran, Como Public Library

The old city of nineteenth century Ghadames comes alive in this historical fiction set in North Africa’s Libya. Malika at the awkward age of twelve straddles the world of grown-ups and children. Her brother Jasim shares the same awkwardness and will soon be banished to the ground level of Ghadames. In this Muslim country which edges the Sahara desert men use the ground floor passageways while the women travel on the rooftops. For fun the children decide they will race on the rooftop like when they were little. Aware this race may be his last Jasim is quick to claim the side closest the ground. Younger sister, Malika, is forced to take the steeper, three story side. As she mounts the four inch wide edge she experiences slight vertigo. So, she takes off her sash and ties it over her eyes to block the view. With a quiet whisper, “Oh help me, great goddess Tanit,” Malika is off. This is a well written tale that brings both culture and country into focus. One experiences the confined spirit of these women which looks like Malika’s unfortunate destiny. This book will be a collection must have for the everyday life of average Muslims.

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