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My Brother Giora

“Last summer my brother was killed.” Thus begins Ronen’s sad story about the death of his older brother in a military campaign and how he and his family cope with the traumatic event. Ronen is a twelve-year-old boy, the youngest in an ordinary Jerusalem family with four children. On the day the news arrives of Giora’s death everything changes. With great sensitivity and fine psychological insight Raya Harnik draws the character of Ronen, who worshipped his brother but must now live with the feeling that no one takes any notice of him or cares about him. His mother quits work, sleeps a great deal and rings up her eldest daughter every morning to pour out her heart. His father leaves for work earlier than usual, and spends evenings talking to the father of another soldier who was killed with Giora. Eitan, Ronen’s other brother, spends most of his time at his girlfriend’s and plans to enlist, like his older brother, in a combat unit. The eldest sister, who lives in Tel Aviv, is torn between commitment to her family and her desire to marry the man she loves, whose bohemian appearance is off-outting to her already troubled parents. It seems that the home, which Eitan terms “a nut house,” is coming apart at the seams. But not everything is bleak. Ronen finds solace in his relationship with Hamutal, the sister of the soldier who was killed with Giora, and the Tel Aviv fiance turns out to be a man with a combat record, who helps the family come to terms with its grief. A year passes, life goes on, but Ronen knows that things will never truly recover. “Like a wound that’s beginning to heal, you can’t resist and you just scratch it a bit and the blood flows again.” Raya Harnik was awarded the prestigious Ze’ev Prize for this book.

Title My Brother Giora
Writer's Last Name Harnik
Writer's First Name Raya
Genre Children
Ages 12 up
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
No. Pages 131pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ahi, Ahi