A Little Piece of Ground by Elizabeth Laird
  

A Little Piece of Ground

Written by Elizabeth Laird

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Despite being published nearly 5 years ago this remains a highly topical, very real story of a Palestinian boy living under military occupation. Incredibly moving; it’s an absolute must read for our children in the hope that their generation will appreciate that war resolves nothing.

Synopsis

A Little Piece of Ground by Elizabeth Laird

Twelve-year-old Karim Aboudi and his family are trapped in their Ramallah home by a strict curfew. Israeli tanks control the city in response to a Palestinian suicide bombing. Karim longs to play football outside with his friends. But in this city there's constant danger.

Reviews

A quote from Michael Morpurgo:

'No one but Elizabeth Laird could have written this book. SHe has lived in the Middle East. She knows it, feels it, loves it, grieves for it and hopes for it. Read A Little Piece of Ground, and we know what it is to fel oppressed, to feel fear every day. And we shouldknow it, for this is how much of the world lives. We are apt to see events in Palestine and Israel asd television drama; violent and repetitive. We are distant from it. But in this book we are taken into Ramallah, we live there, no longer mere observers, but involved as we should be. A fine book, and a daring book.'

About the Author

Elizabeth Laird

Elizabeth Laird was born in New Zealand of Scottish parents. She trained as an English language teacher, and her first job was in Addis Ababa. She has always retained a strong interest in Ethiopia, and his written several books set there, including CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlisted The Fastest Boy in the World. Later, while she was working in London, she was invited by the British Council to teach a summer school in India. The flight from Bombay to Bhopal was bumpy, and she was horribly airsick. The man in the next seat looked after her with great kindness. His name was David McDowall, and he made a deep impression on her. They married a year later. That was forty-two years ago, and they’ve been looking after each other ever since.

David was working in Iraq for the British Council at the time of their marriage, so that’s where they started their married life. They travelled widely, down to the Marshes and up into Kurdistan, where Elizabeth would later set Kiss the Dust. After a stint in London, David started working for the United Nations. They moved to Beirut, along with their first son. A fierce civil war was in progress, which formed the backdrop for her novel Oranges in No Man’s Land. After a year, the situation became too dangerous, and they were evacuated to Vienna, where their second son was born.

Returning to London, they decided to try to earn their living as writers, and took in bed and breakfast for a while to make ends meet. When the children were old enough, Elizabeth began to travel again. She returned many times to Ethiopia, but also visited Palestine, running workshops for writers in Gaza and the West Bank, and visiting several refugee camps. These experiences inspired A Little Piece of Ground. Indignation at the invasion of Iraq sparked Crusade, a historical novel set during a previous disastrous attempt to conquer a Middle Eastern country a thousand years earlier.

The plight of refugees as a result of the Syrian war deeply affected Elizabeth. She was invited by the Norwegian Refugee Council to run writers’ workshops in two Syrian refugee camps just across the border into Jordan. Spending time in Amman, and meeting other refugee families, she put those voices and experiences together into Welcome to Nowhere.

Inspired often by her travels, Elizabeth has also written novels set in the UK, and several historical novels as well. She has won the Children’s Book Award, been shortlisted six times for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, as well as every other major children’s book award.

Photo: © Anne Mortensen

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
224 pages

Author

Elizabeth Laird
More books by Elizabeth Laird

Author's Website

www.elizabethlaird.co.uk/

Publisher

Pan Macmillan

Publication date

6th August 2004

ISBN

9780330437431

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