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Mackenzie, Lost and Found

by Deborah Kerbel

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list price: $12.99
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook eBook
published: 2008
ISBN:9781550028522
publisher: Dundurn
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
9 to 12
Grade:
7 to 10
Reading age:
9 to 12
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Community Reviews and Comments
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Mackenzie, Lost and Found

Three months. Mackenzie just has to suffer through three months in a foreign country where she doesn’t know the language, the customs or anyone other than her father. When Mackenzie’s father told her that they would be moving to Israel for a year so he could oversee an archeological dig near Jerusalem, she had flatly refused to go. However, he had eventually agreed that if she was truly miserable after three months, he’d arrange to send her home.

Life in Jerusalem does indeed prove very different for Mackenzie, and she discovers that she has much to learn. Things become easier when she finds a friend in Marla, a girl who understands the pain that Mackenzie is still grappling with as she mourns her mom’s recent passing. Then there is Nasir, the Palestinian boy that she finds herself drawn to. When she and Nasir begin to see each other in secret, Marla is openly critical. Hurt by her friend’s refusal to accept her relationship with Nasir, Mackenzie ignores Marla’s warnings. When things start to spiral out of control, Mackenzie realizes that her actions may have dire consequences for both her and Nasir.

Like Mackenzie herself, readers are sure to fall under the spell of Jerusalem and its many charms as the author adroitly conveys a sense of the land, its people and its rich history. While she depicts the tension and the ever-present threat of violence simmering near the surface of ordinary life, she also captures the awesomeness of its ancient ties. Mackenzie is taken aback to discover that even young people her age are very politically and socially aware, and struggles with the pressure from her peers to “take a side.” She also discovers that people’s feelings and convictions not only run deep, but are also very complex and multi-layered. Her story gives readers much to think about even while leaving them uneasy about Nasir’s fate.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2009. Vol.32 No.2.

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Description

Fifteen-year-old Mackenzie Hill knows something is up when she arrives home to find her father making a home-cooked dinner, instead of his standard delivery pizza. But nothing prepares her for the bombshell announcement: Mackenzie and her dad, alone since the death of her mother a year ago, are moving to Jerusalem, where her father has taken a position as a visiting professor at a university.

The adjustment from life in Canada to life in Israel is dramatic - though it’s eased somewhat when Mackenzie is befriended by an American girl in her new school. The biggest shock of all comes when Mackenzie faces the wrath of her new friends, new community, and even her own father after she begins dating a Muslim boy.

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Contributor notes

Deborah Kerbel is the co-author (with her father, Gordon Pape) of the Quizmas books of family Christmas trivia. She is also a writer, editor, and researcher specializing in financial and consumer matters with articles in the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. She has appeared on television and radio. She lives in Thornhill, Ontario.

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Editorial Reviews

This book deals with challenging and topical material in a manner appropriate for the young adult audience. The protagonist is honest and na which makes her a good avenue to explore Jewish and Muslim religious traditions, relationships with family and friends, and the sweetness of first love. Patricia Jermey

— Resource Links

"... a poignant coming of age story with a twist ... Kerbel is a great writer. With a writing style that is familiar but distinctive at once. She gives a taste of what's there but keeps you wanting more and more. Overall, this novel was a very well done and extremely original. I hope to rad more of Kerbel soon enough."

— Kelsey, Reading Keeps You Sane

A good contemporary tale, with an exceptionally fine setting for 12-15 year-old readers.

— Winnipeg Free Press

Like Mackenzie herself, readers are sure to fall under the spell of Jerusalem and its many charms as the author adroitly conveys a sense of the land, its people and its rich history. While she depicts the tension and the ever-present threat of violence simmering near the surface of ordinary life, she also captures the awesomeness of its ancient ties

— Canadian Children's Book News

The novel was a great read; I enjoyed learning a little more about this region, people and culture through the book. It was an insightful story.

— A Cozy Reader's Corner
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About the Author

Deborah Kerbel

Deborah Kerbel is the author of the teen novels Mackenzie, Lost and Found and Girl on the Other Side, which was nominated for the 2010 Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award. She is also the co-author of the Quizmas series of family Christmas trivia books. Born in London, England, Deborah now lives and writes in Thornhill, Ontario.

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