Where the Streets Had A Name

Where the Streets Had A Name

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Thirteen-year-old Hayaat of Bethlehem faces check points, curfews, and the travel permit system designed to keep people on the West Bank when she attempts to go to her grandmother's ancestral home in Jerusalem with her best friend.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2010
ISBN: 9780545172929
Branch Call Number: J ABD
Characteristics: 313 p


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment


Getting kids to care about children like themselves in other countries is difficult. Getting kids to care about children in countries they may not have even heard of before is even more difficult. This particular book beautifully conveys an untenable situation that cries out for resolution. Abdel-Fattah’s book fills a massive gap in collections everywhere. This is a book worth reading. Hopefully lots of folks will.

Jul 17, 2012

This story takes a complicated conflict and creates a simple way for a reader to understand a part of how things are. Characters are interesting and draw you in and make you want to find out what happens to them. Plot can be a bit slow at times but some beautiful language throughout.

BPLNextBestKids Feb 15, 2012

Curfews, checkpoints, military jeeps and soldiers, each armed with an M-16, are a fact of daily life in Bethlehem for thirteen year old Hayaat and her family. Her best friend, Samy, has been forced to live with with his very religious aunt and uncle, because his mother is dead and his father is in prison. Hayaat's older sister, Jehan, is to be married and to live in Ramallah, on the other side of the impenetrable wall that divides the West Bank. When her grandmother is hospitalized she tells Hayaat of the time before the area became the State of Israel, before her family was forced out of their home that was taken over by Israelis. The one thing that her grandmother, Sitti Zeynab, wants to do is to touch the soil of her family home. Hayaat and Samay take advantage of a day when the curfew has been lifted and they set out to make Sitti Zeyab's dream come true. Reviewed by BPL volunteer LS

Nov 21, 2011

Hayyat is a Palestinian girl who lives in Bethlehem with her family, including her aging and ailing grandmother. When the grandmother gets sick, she and her best friend, a Christian boy, make a dangerous journey to Jerusalem to find a handful of soil that Hayyat believes will help save her grandmother’s life.
I really liked this book. Hayyat and all of her friends and family are entirely believable and human, with lots of feeling and individuality. The setting might require a map to really understand the situation, but is drawn in such great detail that the reader feels present in these hot cities. The main plot finds its way quickly to their quest and ends nicely. This book would work well for any class studying the Mideast or the intersection of Islam and Christianity, and is just a great read about a place that doesn’t get much attention in teen novels. Highly recommended for grades 6-12. It could go younger, but some violent scenes in a flashback might upset younger kids.

dlpesce Oct 22, 2011

sensitively describes how a Palestinian teen experiences the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability


ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


Add a Summary


Hayaat was beautiful once. That’s what her family would tell you. But since an accident involving the death of her best friend, she’s remained scarred and, to be blunt, scared. Hayaat lives in Bethlehem in the West Bank in 2004. Her family occupies a too small apartment and is preparing for the wedding of Hayaat’s sister Jihan. Unfortunately there are curfews to obey and constant checkpoints to pass. When Hayaat’s beloved Sitti Zeynab grows ill, Hayaat decides to put away the past and do the impossible. She will travel to her grandmother’s old home across the wall that divides the West Bank to bring some soil from in front of her old house. With her partner-in-crime Samy by her side, Hayaat reasons that the trip is attainable as it’s just a few miles. What she doesn’t count on, however, is the fact that for a Palestinian kid to make that trip, it may as well be halfway across the world. Hayaat, however, is determined and along the way she’s able to confront some of the demons from her past.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at FSPL

To Top