The Shepherd’s Granddaughter

The-Shepherds-GranddaughterGroundwood, 2008
(Ages 11+)
ISBN 088899902X

“Information-packed but never didactic, this moving narrative describes the life of a Palestinian girl. Amani’s extended family lives simply, tending its olive groves and animals. Like her grandfather, Amani loves to care for the sheep, and from a young age has played an active role; after his death she takes on the sole responsibility for the safety and health of the flock. Her life becomes more complicated when Israeli settlers begin to build nearby. Her uncle and father react differently—one with angry words, the other with attempts at coalition-building and peaceful resistance. Amani, meanwhile, observes the changes and ponders the possibilities until forced to take action by the destruction of her home. Carter clearly conveys a particular point of view, but she neither demonizes all Israelis nor exalts all Palestinians. The integration of Arabic and Hebrew words adds flavor to the text; the clear description of the setting allows readers to enter deeply into the story. Fluid writing and straightforward storytelling make this a pleasure to read, despite the sensitive subject matter. Thoughtful and engaging.”

Kirkus Starred Review, August 15, 2008
Thematic Links: Middle East conflict, non-violence


  • 2009 CLA Book of the Year Award for Children
  • 2009 Jane Addams Honor Book Award for peace
  • 2009 The Society of School Librarians Best International Book Award
  • 2009 IRA Notable Book for a Global Society
  • 2009 USBBY Outstanding International Book
  • 2010 Red Maple Award Nominee