Elsa Marston
children's author

Forthcoming in 2014:
Fiction, young adult
An adventure in ancient Egypt
Poetry
poems inspired by animals depicted in Southwestern rock art
history, political science
Nonfiction
a look at the variety of women's lives in the Middle East and North Africa
History
Stories in Y-A collections
in FIRST CROSSING AND OTHER STORIES OF IMMIGRANT TEENS
in MEMORIES OF SUN: STORIES OF AFRICA AND AMERICA (2004)
in SOUL SEARCHING: THIRTEEN STORIES ABOUT FAITH AND BELIEF

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THE OLIVE TREE (illustrated by Claire Ewart)


A story for all ages about an old olive tree in Lebanon, a source of pleasure, of conflict, and much more. Based on the author's award-winning and much reprinted short story, with exquisitely rendered illustrations.

In a mountain village, following many years of devastating civil strife, an old olive tree still bears fruit that Sameer's family calls the best in Lebanon. But there's a curious thing about that tree. While some of its twisting branches drop their olives on the land of Sameer's family, its roots grow in the yard of the neighboring family--who. because of the war, have not lived in their house for many years. Now they're coming back. Will they have children, especially a boy who can be Sameer's buddy? It turns out they do have a child Sameer's age--a girl. But Muna is not friendly, and she makes it clear that she doesn't want to share the best olives in Lebanon.

No olives, no buddy, not even a friendly smile from the other side of the stone wall between the two houses. Sameer is disappointed and resentful. Then something heartbreaking happens. Will Sameer find that the olive tree may have one last gift, before it's too late?




A discussion guide is in preparation, suitable for elementary school students. Come back to the Olive Tree soon......!