19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shihab Nye
Reading level: Ages 9-12
As she grieved over the "huge shadow [that] had been cast across the lives of so many innocent people and an ancient culture's pride" after September 11, 2001, poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye's natural response was to write, to grasp "onto details to stay afloat." Accordingly, Nye has gathered over four dozen of her own poems about the Middle East and about being an Arab American living in the United States.
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Devoted followers of the award-winning and beloved poet will recognize some of their favorites from her earlier collections (The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East, etc.), while absorbing themselves in her new haunting and evocative poems. Nye writes of figs and olives, fathers' blessings and grandmothers' hands that "recognize grapes, / and the damp shine of a goat's new skin." She writes of Palestinians, living and dead, of war, and of peace. Readers of all ages will be profoundly moved by the vitality and hope in these beautiful lines from Nye's heart. (Ages 9 to adult)