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Light Years

by Tammar Stein

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2005
263 pages
ISBN: 0375830235

Ages 15 and older

Maya, a twenty-year-old Israeli woman who has recently finished her service in the Israeli army, is now studying astronomy at the University of Virginia. Haunted by the recent death of her boyfriend in a pipe bombing attack in Tel Aviv, her grief is compounded by her belief that she was the intended victim, and by the fact that he was opposed to her going to school in America. Now she has come not only to study but to heal. Tammar Stein’s novel moves between Maya’s current challenges to fit into college and a new culture (which include a sexy TA and a seemingly superficial roommate) and her memories of life in Israel, where the fear of bombs and threat of war were constant. Maya feels light years away from any one place and from most of the people around her. Metaphors that heighten distortion of time and space run throughout this compelling narrative. Things at a distance are not what they appear to be, and Maya’s struggle to heal her heart and confront her own feelings about herself and the people around her, as well as community and identity, is powerful and moving. CCBC Category: Fiction for Young Adults.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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