This book is a comprehensive history of the State of Israel from the beginnings of the Zionist movement to 2008. The information given is both detailed and accurate and attempts to be objective, however the perspective is definitely pro-Israel. For example, in telling the events surrounding the killing of civilians at Deir Yassin during the War of Independence, the author writes, “Rumors of Arab villagers harboring snipers had sparked an attack…the Haganah and the Jewish Agency immediately condemned the killings…There is no evidence that the Irgun- Lehi troops deliberately engineered the Arabs’ panicky flight.” With so many media sources and college campuses publicizing an anti- Israel slant, a book for young readers that clearly explains the Israeli perspective is welcome. On the other hand, the book does lack a full representation of the Palestinian point of view. Modern color photographs and historical black and white photos enrich the text. The subject matter is quite complicated and the vocabulary sophisticated, making this book appropriate for ages 12 and older.
Hillary Zana has a BA and teaching credential from Princeton University. She was a day school librarian for many years and has written many Hebrew textbooks available through Behrman House Publishers. She currently teaches English and history in the Los Angeles public school system and is a National Certified teacher.