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When Sarah Glidden took a “Birthright Israel” tour, she thought she knew what she was getting herself into. But when she got to Israel, she found that things weren’t quite so simple. How To Understand Israel is Sarah’s memoir not only of her Israeli government sponsored trip through Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Masada and other famous locations, but of the emotional journey she never expected to take while she was there. Her experience clashes with her preconceived notions again and again, particularly when she tries to take a non-chaperoned trip into the West Bank. Sarah is forced to question first her political beliefs and, ultimately, her own sense of identity, until she finds that to understand Israel she first must come to understand herself.
“[A] touching and often funny story... The simplicity of the drawing is offset by bright, delicate watercolors that belie our heroine’s unresolved struggle with history and heritage.” — Publisher’s Weekly
“Beautiful watercolors and well-chosen viewpoints detail the land and architecture, and a richly individuated cast of characters carries the reader into and beyond the Israel Glidden experiences as she comes to the realization that others don’t need to agree with her in order for her to feel heard by them. Although aimed at adults, this graphic novel is also a good choice for collections serving older teens and good discussion material for current-events classes as well as ethnic studies curricula.” — Booklist
“Glidden’s soft, watercolor palette and realistic art complement without overshadowing this thoughtful exploration of the role that cultural heritage plays in the search for personal identity.” — School Library Journal