Reviews of ‘Children of the Stone’

Booklist selects ‘Children of the Stone’ for its “2015 Editors’ Choice” List

BooklistBooklist’s adult books editors recently selected “Children of the Stone” as one of 2015’s outstanding books that combines “literary, intellectual, and aesthetic excellence with popular appeal.”

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“Children of the Stone” is “an engrossing and powerful story,” the editors wrote.

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Reading the Middle East


by N.S. Morris 

Sandy Tolan, a radio journalist and writer of research-based creative nonfiction, opens his Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land with a caveat.morris-middle-east-243x366 His narrative of a former stone-throwing Palestinian youth who grew up to found a music conservatory in the West Bank city of Ramallah is “inherently about one people’s tragedies,” he writes. “Readers should not expect the traditional journalistic approach — that is, the parallel narratives of Palestinians and Israelis.”
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‘Children of the Stone’ Named “Top Ten Arts Books of 2015” by Booklist


Booklist has selected Children of the Stone for its “Top Ten Arts Books of 2015” list.  


Ramzi Aburedwan Antonio Olmos/PR

Ramzi Aburedwan Antonio Olmos/PR

Sandy Tolan’s latest book about “a man who brought the transcendent power of music to a Palestinian refugee camp” was selected among “the very best art books” reviewed in Booklist between November 1, 2014, and October 15, 2015.

“Tolan illuminates hidden dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by telling the story of Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, who, against great odds, founded a music school in a refugee camp outside Ramallah,” writes Eloise Kinney.

Click here to read the full Booklist review.


Tolan’s ‘Children of the Stone’ paints an honest devastating portrait of life under occupation


by Pamela Olson

CScoverYou have to hand it to journalist Sandy Tolan, author of The Lemon Tree. In his new book Children of the Stone, he doesn’t pussy-foot around. There’s no attempt at false “balance,” no endeavor to spend equal time on the Israeli side or make their situation seem as bad as—or worse than—the Palestinian reality in order to get the “non-biased” stamp of approval. In today’s language, poisoned by politics, “non-biased” means distorting facts to fit a mainstream narrative that amounts to a near-total inversion of reality. Tolan has none of it.
Instead he dares to tell a sweeping Palestinian story, from a predominantly Palestinian perspective, of passion and loss, hard work and violence, perseverance and corruption, focusing on the life of Ramzi Aburedwan, a boy from a Palestinian refugee camp who grows up to found Al Kamandjati, a gorgeous music school and a pride of Ramallah.

Click here to read the full review. Click here to read what others are saying about Children of the Stone.