These Olive Trees

These Olive Trees
Age Range
Release Date
August 22, 2023
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The story of a Palestinian family’s ties to the land, and how one young girl finds a way to care for her home, even as she says goodbye.

It’s 1967 in Nablus, Palestine.

Oraib loves the olive trees that grow outside the refugee camp where she lives. Each harvest, she and her mama pick the small fruits and she eagerly stomp stomp stomps on them to release their golden oil. Olives have always tied her family to the land, as Oraib learns from the stories Mama tells of a home before war.

But war has come to their door once more, forcing them to flee. Even as her family is uprooted, Oraib makes a solemn promise to her beloved olive trees. She will see to it that their legacy lives on for generations to come.

Debut author-illustrator Aya Ghanameh boldly paints a tale of bitterness, hope, and the power of believing in a free and thriving future.

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These Olive Trees is about the author’s grandmother when she was a child in 1967 Nablus, Palestine. Her family was displaced by war and she has only known life in a refugee camp. Harvesting the Olive Trees that are nearby is one of the traditions her family has been able to maintain after the move. The illustrations show ghostly arms coming to grab the camp as a poignant depiction of the war encroaching on their haven and having to pack and prepare to move again. Oraib takes a seed from the precious Olive trees she is leaving behind and vows to have the patience to watch it grow. This book was published before the conflict between Israel and Gaza resumed in October 2023. This book is a timely humanizing look at one family's story. As children watch the news and seek to understand the present and the complex history it is good to read stories like this as well as other stories from both sides of the divide to see how humanity is impacted by war.
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