Trained to hate, two boys discover friendship instead.
Sam, an Israeli teen whose leg may have to be amputated, and Yusuf, a Palestinian teen who has lost his left eye, find themselves uneasy roommates in a Jerusalem hospital. One night, the boys decide to slip away while the nurses aren’t looking and go on an adventure to the Old City.
The escapade turns dangerous when they realize they’re hopelessly lost. As they navigate the dark city—one of them limping and the other half-blind—their suspicions of each other are diverted. They band together to find their way home, defending themselves against unfriendly locals, arrest by the military police, and an encounter with a deadly desert snake. The boys’ attempts to understand each other and the politics that divide them mirror the longstanding conflict in the Middle East.
This powerful story, touched with humor, demonstrates how individual friendships and experiences can triumph over enormous cultural and political differences and lead to understanding and compassion.
“The prevailing message is powerful. ”- Library Media Connection, 04/13
“An eclectic mixture of adventure, drama, and humor . . . also reveals how resilience, forgiveness, and tolerance can triumph. ”- Edwards Book Club, 10/01/12
“McKay ably . . . illustrates the deep-seated hatred and misinformation each side has for the other. ”- VOYA, 12/12
“In this fast-paced narrative, Sam and Yusuf blur together at times—anger is a realistic, defining characteristic for both—but given the overarching theme, that confusion just may be the point . . . powerful. ”- Kirkus Reviews, 08/22
“McKay weaves a story of depth and understanding, a beautiful portrait of reluctant friendship, of overcoming profound prejudices, misconceptions, and deep-seeded anger, even hate. ”- Resource Links, 12/12
“Full of grit and bursts of well-placed humour, Enemy Territory is a characteristically bold, thought-provoking, important novel from an author and Canadian war artist unafraid to use controversial issues as a platform to educate and enlighten. ”- Canadian Children’s Book News, 01/13
“Telling the story with sensitivity and humor, McKay brings to life, through the young men, both the dangerous and precarious situation in Israel, and the value of friendship in the face of crisis and deep-seated cultural instability. ”- CM Reviews, 01/13
“An action-packed narrative . . . The result is intense, and leaves the reader with much to think about. ”- Quill & Quire, 09/12
“An essential way to help our young people see the many sides to a given situation, even one on the other side of the world. ”- ALAN (Assembly for Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE), 05/14/13