by Rula Jebreal

Penguin, $15.00, 309 pages

What would you do if you found fifty-five abandoned children in the middle of a war torn city? In 1948, Hind Husseini, a young Arab woman, found herself in that situation. She founded the Dar El-Tifel Institute which provided shelter, care and an education to girls caught in the middle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Miral, written by award winning journalist Rula Jebreal, follows the life one of Husseini’s students.

Miral is placed in the orphanage after her mother commits suicide. She becomes one of Husseini’s brightest students. But she is sheltered from the volatile political situation. When she turns 17 she begins volunteering at a refugee camp where she witnesses the effects of war. As she matures, her desire to take part in the struggle for Palestinian independence gets stronger. Miral is forced to choose between her education and the fight for independence. Will she learn that an education can be as effective a tool as violence? This very moving story will leave readers hopeful that peace can be reached. Fans of the book will enjoy seeing the story come alive on the big screen.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin