The Canadian Jewish News Article
Read the first chapter
Author: Sharon E. McKay
Publisher: Annick Press
Trained to hate, two boys on either side of the Mideast conflict discover
Sam, an Israeli teen whose leg may have to be amputated, and Yusuf, a Palestinian teen who has lost his left eye, find themselves uneasy roommates in a Jerusalem hospital. One night, the boys decide to slip away while the nurses aren’t looking and go on an adventure to the Old City.
The escapade turns dangerous when they realize they’re hopelessly lost. As they navigate the dark city—one of them limping and the other half-blind—their suspicions of each other are diverted. They band together to ?nd their way home and to defend themselves against unfriendly locals, arrest by the military police, and an encounter with a deadly desert snake. The boys’ attempts to understand each other and the politics that divide them mirror the longstanding conflict in the Middle East.
This powerful story, touched with humor, demonstrates how individual friendships and experiences can triumph over enormous cultural and political differences and lead to understanding and compassion.
Telling the story with sensitivity and humour, McKay brings to life, through the young men, both the dangerous and precarious situation in Israel, and the value of friendship in the face of crisis and deep-seated cultural instability.
McKay weaves a story of depth and understanding, a beautiful portrait of reluctant friendship, of overcoming profound prejudices, misconceptions, and deep-seeded anger, even hate.
In this fast-paced narrative, Sam and Yusuf blur together at times—anger is a realistic, defining characteristic for both—but given the overarching theme, that confusion just may be the point … powerful.
— Kirkus Reviews, 08/22
Full of grit and bursts of well-placed humour, Enemy Territory is a characteristically bold, thought-provoking, important novel from an author and Canadian war artist unafraid to use controversial issues as a platform to educate and enlighten.
McKay ably...illustrates the deep-seated hatred and misinformation each side has for the other...
Enemy Territory is an eclectic mixture of adventure, drama, and humor. Catering to a young adult audience, this book more than delivers on its goal to reveal how youth may perceive the Arab-Israeli conflict. It also reveals how resilience, forgiveness, and tolerance can triumph. While an element of predictability does exist, there is a heartwarming lesson for all ages here. I definitely encourage all adults (young and old alike) to pick up this book and sit back for an evening or two of educational enlightenment – you won’t be disappointed.