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Teenagers Voice - Grains of Sand: The Fall of Neve

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Sara Leah Shomron and Shifra Shomron

Teen author Shifra Shomron tells a compelling story about a turbulent time in Israel's history through Efrat, a high school student living under dual threats of Arab attacks and the government's plan to destroy her beautiful Gush Katif home. Will community efforts save Gush Katif from destruction?

Published in: Education, Spiritual
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  • Please click on the link and learn about a very special NJ boy and the impact both the book 'Grains Of Sand The Fall Of Neve Dekalim' and its teen author, Shifra Shomron, had on him in this interview I gave while at the ETAI International Teachers' conference.
    ' ON ASSIGNMENT IN JERUSALEM - INTERVIEW WITH SARA SHOMRON'
    http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2010/07/on-assignment-in-jerusalem-interview_19.html
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Teenagers Voice - Grains of Sand: The Fall of Neve

  1. 1. http://grainsofsand.insightonthenews.net/ http://www.tinyurl.com/GrainsOfSand LINKING THROUGH LANGUAGE 22222222222222222222222222222222222222 A Teenager’s Voice – Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim Set in Neve Dekalim, Gush Katif, Israel, Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim by Shifra Shomron is told from the vantage point of teenager Efrat Yefet, a high school student living under the dual threat of Arab attacks and the Israeli government's 2005 Disengagement plan to destroy her town and adjacent communities. She, along with family, friends, and neighbors, tries to lead an ordinary life as the ever- encroaching conflict gets closer, and the whole community joins efforts to save their beautiful towns from destruction. Meet the author: Shifra Shomron Shalom! I began writing Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim (in English) as a senior in the Neve Dekalim girls' high school and completed it a year later as a nineteen year old. My novel is based on my personal experiences as a former Neve Dekalim - Gush Katif resident as well as those of family, friends, and neighbors. It depicts the life of an Israeli family living in Gush Katif from pre-Intifada II until Disengagement. I chose to write Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim for several reasons. Firstly, as a way to have an accurate account of what was happening in such an extremely difficult time - for me, the entire situation was so absurd, I was afraid I wouldn't trust my memory later on. Secondly, after the destruction of Gush Katif, it was very important for me to try and eternalize the Gush and the written word lasts forever. Lastly, I wanted to share my memories and experiences with the vast public - so that anyone would be able to pick up my book, and be transferred beyond time and beyond location into my Gush Katif. Gush Katif now exists only in the memories of its banished residents, and those memories mustn't be forgotten. I feel that Gush Katif no longer belongs only to those of us who lived there - it has become part of the legacy of the entire Jewish world. My novel, Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim is the story of blossoming communities that after thriving for thirty years were reduced to gray piles of rubble. Thank you, --Shifra Shomron Select reader comments: Abigail Leichman, Journalist: "I reviewed books for children and teens for many years for AMIT Woman magazine. After reading Shifra Shomron's novice novel, I have no doubt I would recommend it highly in that column. Somehow, Shifra manages to write without the bitterness that none of us would begrudge her. There is a sweet innocence, a pure faith, that shines through amid the pain. I believe every Jewish teen should add this book to the list of literature about modern Israel that must be read in order to grasp what really goes on here. It is firmly in the young-adult category of literature -- of which there is so little for Jewish adolescents -- but it's also worthwhile for adults to read along with their kids. And because the author is a real, live person, readers will surely want to access her website and get to know her a little better." Esther Revivo, English teacher at Ulpanat Tzvia, Netivot, Israel: "Hello! I'd like to recommend a book I just finished reading. It is called "Grains of Sand - The Fall of Neve Dekalim" by Shifra Shomron … I was highly impressed by the descriptive writing and found the book very poignant. Politics aside, this was a very major event in our country's recent history, and I think that good 4-5 pointers (and any English speaker!) would enjoy reading this book which puts a very personal face on the destruction of the Gush Katif settlements. I am asking our school library to purchase it as it is excellent reading and I believe will interest our pupils…I am always on the lookout for books that might interest my pupils for external reading and this is one you should check out. It might even motivate someone else to write a book since Shifra was apparently in high school when she began writing this book…" Dr. Leanne Olson, Associate Professor of Psychology at the Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, WI : "Grains of Sand offers clarity and voice to the albeit silenced perspective of those displaced from their homes and lives in Gush Katif… Echoing the angst inherent in loss, this story is a must read for anyone who has experienced broken promises. Ms. Shomron provides a single, yet telling perspective that enlivens integrity and hope in us all. A wonderful read, particularly from the forgotten perspective of the young!"
  2. 2. Chas Newkey-Burden, British author and journalist: "… I recommend you read Shomron’s book – it’s a beautifully written, riveting work. Amazingly, Shomron was 19 when she wrote it. She’s a great talent and I look forward to reading her future work." David Grossman, Owner of "The Jewish Internet," (40 websites and 136 popular forums) and reviewer for "Jewish Reviews," Jewish literature and software : "…Shifra presents vibrant anecdotes, conversations, pictures... The author may have been driven to write this book in order to help herself deal with the impossible. She wrote calmly, simply, forcefully, and without platitudes. She expressed sadness, rather than pain or rancor. As a result, she has helped us re-live one of the most divisive epochs in the history of the Jewish nation… Politicians, social scientists, and other good Jews from across the Israeli political spectrum would do well to read this book. It will help all of us understand the frustrated thoughts and feelings, the tragedy of a lost and crushed future, and the dashed hopes of victims of circumstances beyond their control." A word from the publicist: Sara L. Shomron Shifra Shomron gives an insider’s perspective in a simple but not simplified, insightful, and poignant voice. She utilizes narrative, poetry, journal entries, news articles, photos, and Biblical text to give the reader a full picture; inviting reader participation and challenging readers to question, think “what if,” and engage in meaningful discussion. This book does not tell readers what to think but does inform and create awareness by taking a few steps back from the news, where getting plain details isn’t always enough. The reader can blend his or her own thinking with the story, and better understand issues that are still being grappled with to this day. Shifra Shomron draws on universal themes of social responsibility, family, faith, loss, and hope to weave a compelling story that grows in intensity. Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim introduces the reader to life in a rural, religious/modern orthodox, agricultural-based Israeli community – and one that is under siege. This creates both identification and diversity for the readers, as each group of readers will find in this setting some features with which they can identify, and some that differ from their own background – whether the readers are rural or urban, religious or secular, Israeli or American… The story is a window into a world that many have heard of but have not had the opportunity to experience. And for those familiar, it allows them to recall, reflect, and discuss where they were at the time of the unilateral Israeli withdrawal and expulsion of Jewish citizens from Gush Katif. Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim by Shifra Shomron is the first published historical novel on this subject, written in English, and appropriate reading for EFL and native English speakers, pre-teen through young adult readers. There is no doubt in my mind that in years to come people will want to know what happened to Gush Katif. Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim by Shifra Shomron makes an interesting, good, and relevant read. • Title: GRAINS OF SAND: THE FALL OF NEVE DEKALIM • Author: Shifra Shomron • Publisher: Mazo Publishers, © 2007 • Genre: Historical Fiction • ISBN-10: 9657344190 ISBN-13: 978-9657344194 • Paperback: 185 pages The Literature Study Guide For Grains Of Sand:The Fall Of Neve Dekalim incorporates key components for teaching literary texts in compliance with the Israeli Ministry of Education Literature Lower-Order Thinking Skills (LOTS), and Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). It includes challenging and exciting lessons, discussion topics, chapter questions, comprehension exercises, teaching ideas across the curriculum, research project ideas, crossword puzzle, word search and more. The students will be challenged to question and participate in meaningful discussions. The literature study guide is suitable for EFL students as well as native English-speakers, grades 7-12. I encourage you to visit the author’s website, http://grainsofsand.insightonthenews.net/ or http://www.tinyurl.com/GrainsOfSand where you can access audio videos from the author and others about the book, book reviews, book excerpt, and more. Thank you, Sara L. Shomron, Publicist email: publicist.sls@gmail.com

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