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Ida, a Palestinian-American girl, eats a magic olive that takes her to the life she might have had in her parents’ village near Jerusalem, in an important coming of age story that explores identity, place, voice, and belonging.
Every time violence erupts in the Middle East, Ida knows what’s coming next. Some of her classmates treat her like it’s all her fault—just for being Palestinian! In eighth grade, Ida is forced to move to a different school. But people still treat her like she’ll never fit in. Ida wishes she could disappear.
One day, dreading a final class project, Ida hunts for food. She discovers a jar of olives that came from a beloved aunt in her family’s village near Jerusalem. Ida eats one and finds herself there—as if her parents had never left Palestine! Things are different in this other reality—harder in many ways, but also strangely familiar and comforting. Now she has to make some tough choices. Which Ida would she rather be? How can she find her place?
Ida’s dilemma becomes more frightening as the day approaches when Israeli bulldozers are coming to demolish another home in her family’s village…
Nora Lester Murad is a writer, educator, activist, co-author of Rest in My Shade: A Poem About Roots, and editor of I Found Myself in Palestine: Stories of Love and Renewal From Around the Globe. From a Jewish American family, Nora married a Muslim Palestinian, and raised three daughters in the West Bank and in the US.