Another Review at MyShelf.Com

War in the Middle East
A Reporter's Story
Black September and the Yom Kippur War

by Wilborn Hampton


Conflict in the Middle East has never been easy to understand, but never has it been more important for Americans to try. The events Wilburn Hampton covers—Black September, the Yom Kippur War, and the peace talks—are all within my lifetime. The names are all familiar. And yet, I found Hampton's clear summary of the issues (a summary that paints no one as the "good guy" or the "bad guy") enlightening and thought provoking. This is more than a summary of military action and political maneuvering, it's also a very personal account of Hamton's days covering warfare. Hampton describes being injured by a ricocheting bullet, seeing teen-aged prisoners marched away for a firing squad, and watching a woman beg soldiers to stop shooting at her home, her mother, and her children. It's a moving book, refusing to allow us distance on what war truly is. It's also an important book for young people because it connects events like 9/11 and even the effect of President Obama's election, showing how the Middle East and the United States are definitely connected despite their geographical distance. It shows how what once might have seemed a very distant and localized conflict could grow into something that intimately affected American citizens. This is not a book that has all the answers—I doubt Hampton would claim it has any answers—but it gives the reader the vital information necessary to start asking the right questions. And if we can encourage our young people to ask questions and to think globally, we can indeed hope for peace in the Middle East in their lifetime, even if we never see it in ours.

The Book

Candlewick Press
September 8, 2009
9780763643768 / 0763643769
Tweener Nonfiction / ages 10+
More at

The Reviewer

Jan Fields
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Jan Fields is the editor of Kid Magazine Writers emagazine and has written dozens of stories and articles for the children's magazine market.
© 2009