Oranges in No Man's Land
Ayesha lives in a battle-scarred building with her grandmother. Outside, a war is ripping the city apart—but Ayesha doesn’t even know why the two sides are fighting.
Life gets scarier when her grandmother’s medicine runs out. So Ayesha takes matters into her own hands. In her search for a doctor she makes a forbidden journey across no man’s land.
Set in Lebanon during the civil war, Oranges in No Man’s Land is the richly moving result of Laird’s own experiences in war torn Beirut. In 1977, she lived there in a war-damaged apartment with her husband and six-month-old son. Her son’s early childhood, set against the backdrop of instability, militarism, and fear, helped inspire the story of Ayesha, a ten-year-old-girl confronting checkpoints and military barriers to protect her grandmother and little brothers.
With the help of her friend Samar, a deaf mute who invents wonderful games for the two to play, Ayesha becomes a true heroine—brave, selfless, and strong. Ayesha’s moving journey offers young readers invaluable insight not only into life during war, but also the power of the human spirit to rise above hatred and fear.
“Packing an enormous emotional punch, Elizabeth Laird brings us a topical book about Lebanon that will do more for a child’s understanding of war than a news report ever could, yet it is neither frightening nor distressing. Smart, punchy writing and full empathy for the child’s perspective. Highly recommended.
—Jill Murphy, The Bookbag
Read the full review at: http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php/Oranges_in_No_Man%27s_Land