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Ages 13+ | Green Almonds: Letters From Palestine (Lion Forge)

Green Almonds: Letters from Palestine
Published by: Lion Forge
Written by: Anaële Hermans
Illustrated by: Delphine Hermans
Format: HC, 152 pages, Color, $19.99
ISBN: 9781941302897
Ages: 13+

Review

Stepping in real time with the momentum of the graphic novel world and its growing awareness of sociopolitical international current event storylines, Green Almonds is a true story about two sisters being rereleased in English this July by Lion Forge. 

When one sister (Anaele) agrees to work for an aid program in the occupied territories of the Middle East, moving between both her Israeli and Palestinian friends, the other sister (Delphine) stays behind in Liege, Belgium.  Exchanging letters and drawings, the sisters’ communications highlight the complex realities they are living separately but sharing together.  While Anaele must face the ever-shifting realities of a land and its various peoples and opinions, Delphine must try to help her sister navigate such a land and its dangers.

Winner of the 2011 Doctor’s Without Borders Best Travel Diary, Green Almonds: Letters from Palestine is an extremely worthwhile addition to young adult classrooms and libraries in 2018.

Elements of Story

Plot: When Anaele moves to the Occupied territories of the Middle East she embarks on a letter exchanging campaign with her sister, Delphine, to verbally and visually depict their separate and shared experiences. 

Major Characters: Delphine, Anaële, Elias, Mousa, Mahmoud, Majdi, Akram, Uri, Nina, Amjad, Nasser, Yussef, Bassam, Majdi’s family, Mohammed, Mo’ayad

Major Settings: Bethlehem, Liège in Belgium, Palestine, Beit Ummar, Dheisheh, Hebron, Jerusalem, Ni’lin, Qalqilya 

Themes: Middle East Politics, Travel Writing, Family, Friendship and Politics, Activism

Lesson Plan Recommendation Using the

Common Core Standards (CCSS) for Young Adults

Common Core Standard(s)

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.6

Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.

Directions for Lesson Plan

To help with comprehension of both sisters’ storylines readers can keep a double entry journal while they read. 

In the left column, students will keep journal entry summaries of each of Anaele’s correspondences to Delphine; students can document their understanding of these correspondences with words, images and / or both. 

In the right column, students will keep journal entry summaries of each of Delphine’s correspondences to Anaele; again, students can document their understanding of these correspondences with words, images, and / or both.   

Anaele’s Correspondence Delphine’s Correspondence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When they are done reading the story and keeping a double entry journal documenting the two main characters’ points of view (one column for Anaele and one column for Delphine), ask students to write two short paragraphs analyzing how:

  1. How do Anaele’s correspondences to Delphine create suspense in the story?
  2. How do Delphine’s correspondences to Anaele create suspense in the story?