"With a sharp eye for nuances of culture and the political situation in
the Middle East, Clinton has created a rich, colorful cast of characters and an emotionally charged novel." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)
I am Malaak Abed Atieh, and this bird is Abdo. . . . I live in Abdo's eyes. . . . I fly high, high above Gaza City. . . . Nothing stops me, not the concrete and razor wire, not the guns, not the soldiers. I stare at them with my hard black Abdo eyes, and they do not shoot me. I am hidden.
The year is 1988 in Gaza City, and it has been a month since eleven-year-old Malaak's beloved father left to look for work in Israel, only to disappear. Every day Malaak climbs up to the roof and waits for him, imagining that she can fly to the prison cell where she is sure he waits, too. She speaks little to anyone, preferring to commune with the loyal little bird she has tamed. But her twelve-year-old brother, Hamid, has a different way of coping. He feels only anger, stoked by militant extremists who preach violence as the only way to change their fate. Malaak's mother and sister beg the boy to stay away from harm, but now Malaak lives in fear that she may lose her only brother as well. What will it take for her to find her voice — and the strength to move beyond the violence that surrounds her?
About the Author
Cathryn Clinton received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa and her master of fine arts degree from Vermont College. Her first novel, THE CALLING, was published in 2001. AboutA STONE IN MY HAND she says, "While in graduate school in 1998 I had a writing assignment: choose a picture of someone and write about that person. In an article about Gaza in National Geographic, I saw a picture of a young Palestinian girl holding a bird in her hand. There was a look of strength in her face. This intrigued me, and I wondered how this girl had survived both internally and externally when the conditions of her growing up years were so harsh. So I sat down and began writing the story of Malaak."
Praise for A Stone in My Hand…
"With a sharp eye for nuances of culture and the political situation
in the Middle East, Clinton has created an emotionally charged novel." — School Library Journal - Starred review
"This book's compassion and insight can only help us all."
— Naomi Shihab Nye, poet and author of HABIBI — Quote