Marilyn Levy

256 pages


August 2009


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eBook (PDF)
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January 2010


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About the Book

An Israeli and a Palestinian girl struggle to maintain their friendship in the face of conflict; Noa, an Israeli Jew, and Maha, a Palestinian Muslim, are two very different teenage girls—who may not be so different after all. They’ve become good friends, but after a tragic incident that changes Noa and her family forever, Noa’s beliefs about Palestinian and Israeli relations are put to the test. Shocking secrets are revealed that affect both Noa’s and Maha’s lives and test their blossoming relationship. Checkpoints brings to life the realities teenagers in the Middle East face today, as politics and prejudice threaten to tear lives and relationships apart. At the same time, it serves as a testament to the power of love and friendship in an often chaotic world.

Author Bio

Marilyn Levy is the author of Checkpoints as well as two “ALA Best Books List” titles: Touching and Run For Your Life.


"Checkpoints is one of the most highly charged emotional books that has come my way in a long time . . . an excellent take-off for discussion of the heart-breaking story of the Israel-Palestinian conundrum."—Ottawa Jewish Bulletin

"The dramatic story, with its realistically three-dimensional characters, is full of subplots and surprises."—Lilith Magazine

"Marilyn Levy's thesis is that the world is not black and white, that while each side may believe that its cause is righteous, they can yet somehow learn to listen to each other and that, if they do, peace is possible."—Rabbi Jack Reimer, Jewish News Denver

"Marilyn Levy has created contemporary Israeli and Palestinian characters who struggle with friendship and the divisive issues that keep peace a distant hope. . . . A touching story."—Rabbi Marc Gellman, author of Someday You'll Thank Me for This

"Checkpoints tells the complex and heart-breaking story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lives of real families. [A] story...that teenagers around the world will relate to and understand. If everyone were as courageous as Noa, peace might be possible!"—Dr. Katharine Henderson, executive vice president, Auburn Theological Seminary

"Checkpoints is a lovely book which gives the right impression of teenage life in Israel. The writer puts in a very accurate light the relationship between the life of youth on one hand and the moral dilemmas of young Israelis facing the Palestinian conflict. This book presents the tensions these teens face between wanting security and wanting to be able to live their lives."—Daniel Rubenstein