Bookjumper Summer Reading Series

Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series: Habibi by Naomi Nye Book review

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Today we are going on a journey to the Middle East. Often times what we hear coming out of the Middle East is violent. Today I would like to share an insightful book and a look into the everyday life of Israel/Palestine.


When I first read the book Habibi by Naomi Nye a few years back I thought it was one of the most wonderfully crafted an authentic stories presented on the region. I’m very biased as my husband is from Lebanon and we spend a lot of time with family in that region of the world. My children could relate to the story of Habibi on many levels. We’ve raised our children speaking Arabic just so they could communicate with their family overseas. Though language hasn’t been an issue , the adjustment to a new country always is.

Because all of us here have a first hand experience of the region, I wanted someone to read this book who hadn’t bee to the region and see what their experience with Habibi was. Today’s blog post is shared with us by our intern and crafter extraordinaire Hannah Rials.  Please enjoy our journey today and the rich cultures, diverse backgrounds, and traditions which live in the Middle East.

A Review

Habibi: (n.) “darling.” Arabic, a term of endearment in all countries.

Liyana’s just had her first ever kiss, and now her father announces that her family is moving to Jerusalem and he is returning. After years of living in America, Poppy is ready to return to his homeland and be reunited with his estranged family. So without any say from Liyana or her brother Rafik, the Abbouds pack up their house, manage an estate sale, and fly across the world to Jerusalem/Palestine, a country that is supposed to be improving, but is life really any better than it was when Poppy left?

Liyana feels lost in Jerusalem. Her very traditional family does not speak a word of English, so both she and they must be translated through Poppy. She knows no one here. Back in St. Louis, even the grocer knew her. Here, she’s just half and half—half American, half Arabic. She has no place, but as she comes to experience and explore Jerusalem and its inhabitants, she begins to find herself more at home, especially when she meets Omar, the handsome Jewish boy in the lamp store.

They form a friendship based on peace and the belief that the world can only get better when people change their views. If they continue to think in the same way that they always have, then things are always going to stay the same. All the adults who talk about change and peace do not seem to understand that.

Naomi Shihab Nye’s story shows a troubled country through a powerful, influential prospective—that of a child’s. Too often, adults overlook the simple solutions, the easy through process. They make everything complicated, when the solution might easily be changing your tune. National change does not happen without first a change in thought. All it takes is a friendship between a young, quirky Arabic girl and a peaceful Jewish boy in Jerusalem to start that change.

This story is beautifully woven. I learned so much about Jerusalem that I never knew. It seems like such a foreign place, so far away, but Nye creates a beautiful, endearing culture, despite the dangerous aspects. Liyana, the habibi of the family, is a wonderful inspiring character that is easy to connect to and offers a fresh prospective. I can’t wait to see what else Nye has created!

Somethings To Do

Make your Own Bedouin Drum at RhyhmWebccom

bedowin drums
DCF 1.0

Make your Own Baba Ghannouj

Baba Ghannouj

Virtual Tours of Jerusalem:

Jerusalem tours

Create your own Family Memories: Recently our entire family returned to my husband’s homeland of Lebanon and much fun was had, old memories were revisited and new ones were created.

At our favorite banyan tree at the American university of Beirut. The kids have played there for years.
At our favorite banyan tree at the American university of Beirut. The kids have played there for years.


This is of one of our favorite meals known as Lunch at Jido’s. Jido means grandfather. Every Saturday I would cook lunch for the family at Jido’s house. This year we had a Jido lunch at my sister in laws.
Lebanon Skies
Beach Fun
Food, Family and Laughter!


End of Summer Audrey Press Book Sale!!

book sale

Summer is slowly winding down and thoughts are turning to the upcoming school year and reads that will take us into (and through) the colder months ahead. Instead of being sad to see summer go, I choose to Celebrate! And what better way to do it than with an End of Summer Audrey Press Book Sale. For two weeks only readers can get a great deal on two of my most popular books. But don’t delay; this super special sale ends August 14, 2015.!

First up The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook: The Simple Step-by-Step guide to creating a Waldorf-inspired #homeschool. And for a limited time, this best-selling book by Donna Ashton, The Waldorf #Homeschool Handbook is now only $17.95 until August 14th, 2015 !

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale until August 14th ! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!”

Two great children’s books-Your choice, $17.95 each!