Book Size: 8" x 5.25"

Pages: 224

Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781623718060

Imprint: Crocodile Books

Ages: 12-16

Release date: Fall 2022


Ida in the Middle


$ 19.95

“An engaging, beautifully nuanced book for upper elementary and young adult readers, its central theme—How do you survive middle school while being true to yourself?—is one that will resonate. Readers will connect to Ida’s struggles as a 13-year-old Palestinian American trying to grapple with anti-Arab racism at school, her relationship to a homeland she has never seen, and the complicated dynamics of her family … A must read!” — Jody Sokolower, educator and author of Determined to Stay: Palestinian Youth Fight for Their Village

About this book

Ida, a Palestinian-American girl, eats a magic olive that takes her to the life she might have had in her parents’ village near Jerusalem. An important coming of age story that explores identity, place, voice, and belonging.

Every time violence erupts in the Middle East, Ida knows what’s coming next. Some of her classmates treat her like it’s all her fault—just for being Palestinian! In eighth grade, Ida is forced to move to a different school. But people still treat her like she’ll never fit in. Ida wishes she could disappear.

One day, dreading a final class project, Ida hunts for food. She discovers a jar of olives that came from a beloved aunt in her family’s village near Jerusalem. Ida eats one and finds herself there—as if her parents had never left Palestine! Things are different in this other reality—harder in many ways, but also strangely familiar and comforting. Now she has to make some tough choices. Which Ida would she rather be? How can she find her place?

Ida’s dilemma becomes more frightening as the day approaches when Israeli bulldozers are coming to demolish another home in her family’s village…


About the author

Nora Lester Murad is a writer, educator, and activist. She co-authored Rest in My Shade: A Poem About Roots, and edited I Found Myself in Palestine: Stories of Love and Renewal From Around the Globe. From a Jewish American family, Nora moved from California to study in the Middle East. She married a Muslim Palestinian, and raised three daughters in the West Bank and in the US. She posts her writing at


“Murad’s YA novel is a masterful debut, portraying both the echoes of history and the beat of contemporary teen life with insight, honesty, and compassion.”
—Susan Muaddi Darraj, author of A Curious Land: Stories from Home, winner of the American Book Award

Ida in the Middle is a familiar adolescent story of our yearning to belong, while illuminating, with honesty and sensitivity, the painful experiences of Palestinians under the Occupation. Fourteen-year-old Ida, the timid and ‘invisible’ daughter of immigrants, finds herself magically transported to Busala, her native Palestinian village, where she discovers her voice and purpose in the world. Ida’s amazing journey reveals the strength of our roots wherever they are planted, and the courage to bear witness.”
Sahar Mustafah, author of The Beauty of Your Face, a 2020 New York Times Notable Book


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