Balcony on the Moon
Coming of Age 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 1972-1981 and chronicles her desire to be a writer.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Palestine Book Award Shortlist Selection
A VOYA Nonfiction Honor Roll Selection
A Skipping Stones Honor Book
An Arab-American National Museum Honor Book
A Bank Street College of Education Best Book
An American Library Association/Amelia Bloomer Project Top Ten Book
A Notable Book for a Global Society
A News & Observer Newspaper's Wilde Best Book Award Winner
A Middle East Book Award Honorable Mention
In this follow-up to Tasting the Sky, a young 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.
A Margaret Ferguson Book
In this companion memoir to Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood (2007), Barakat continues her tale of growing up in Palestine from 1972 1981, a politically turbulent time. As a high school student, Barakat reminds herself that while she "cannot do anything about Iraq and Iran, the American hostages, Lebanon, the civil war and the Palestinian camps," she can study for her exams. Themes of equal rights and education for girls become especially poignant as Barakat's mother acknowledges that leaving school for marriage felt "worse than death" and decides to resume her high school studies. Divided into five parts correlating with the family's five homes, the book captures Barakat's growing understanding of the complex dynamics in her parents' marriage, her outrage at gender-based restrictions, and her determination not to live a life like that of her mother. When her willingness to question and explore opens doors for her, Barakat receives encouragement and support from surprising sources, validating her sister's statement that "being Palestinian teaches you to be ready for any destiny." This is a compelling personal history, brimming with humor, wisdom, and empathy. Ages 12 up.