The Shepherd's Granddaughter
Written by Anne Laurel Carter
Publication Date August 05, 2008
Winner of the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award for Children, the Society of School Librarians International Best Book Award and a Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor Book
Ever since she was a little girl, Amani has wanted to be a shepherd, just like her beloved grandfather, Sido. For generations her family has grazed sheep above the olive groves of the family homestead near Hebron, and she has been steeped in Sido’s stories, especially one about a secret meadow called the Firdoos, where the grass is lush and the sheep grow fat, and about the wolf that once showed him the path there.
But now Amani’s family home is being threatened by encroaching Jewish settlements. As she struggles to find increasingly rare grazing land for her starving sheep, her uncle and brother are tempted to take a more militant stance against the settlers. Then she accidentally meets Jonathan, an American boy visiting his settler father.
Away from the pressures of their families, the two young people discover Sido’s secret meadow, the domain of a lone wolf. And Amani learns that she must share the meadow, and even her sheep, with the wolf, if she is going to continue to use it.
Winner of the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award 2008
Winner of the SSLI Best Book 2009
Selected for the Amelia Bloomer Project 2010
Selected for the Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices 2009 2009
Selected for the Jane Addams Children's Book Award (Honor Book) 2009
Long-listed for the OLA Red Maple Award 2010
Selected for the USBBY Outstanding International Books 2008
Anne Laurel Carter
Anne Laurel Carter lived on kibbutzim in Israel in the early seventies. She returned to Israel in 2005 to teach creative writing in Ramallah and stayed with several Palestinian families while researching family life under the occupation for her novel The Shepherd's Granddaughter. Anne has a Master of Education and currently works as a teacher-librarian in Toronto. She has won the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award for Children (for The Shepherd's Granddaughter), and the Mr. Christie's Book Award (for Prairie Sky, illustrated by Alan and Lea Daniel).
"Information-packed but never didactic...The integration of Arabic and Hebrew words adds flavor to the text...Fluid writing and straightforward storytelling make this a pleasure to read, despite the sensitive subject matter. Thoughtful and engaging." Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
"...One of the very few YA novels attempting to tackle the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Jewish Book World
"Carter strikes a splendid balance in character development, portraying both parties' flaws while demonstrating Palestinian sympathies. Background and cultural information are seamlessly woven into the narrative, which is written simply and clearly in a skillful depiction of a sensitive situation." School Library Journal
"...a hard - hitting, thought-provoking, troublesome book. The Shepherd's Granddaughter centres upon the issue of Israeli-Palestinian relations and the on-going conflict over land...Carter's work provides an opportunity for middle and high school readers to gain further information about their world..." CM Magazine
"The sympathies of the novel are consistently apparent, yet its strong polemical element never overwhelms its more general human interest elements. The story balances an economical style with a well paced presentation of Amani's growth in body and in perspective, her discovery of her gender and its implications for her aspirations, and her discovery of her skills, both as a shepherd and as a student." Canadian Literature
"...sensitively portray[s] many viewpoints and issues in this thoughtful and simply written story...†...the beauty lies in the questioning that remains long after the story ends.†" School Library Journal Blog