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Samir and Yonatan on Planet Mars

Daniella Carmi
AGE: 10-14

Samir, an Arab child during the Intifada, is taken to an Israeli hospital for a special operation. He arrives in the children`s ward grieving for his dead brother and traumatized by the disintegration of his family life. Too shy to speak, he watches the four children in his ward: Razia, who is emotionally disturbed, is being stitched up after her father`s last drunken binge; Ludmilla, a Russian girl, is catatonically withdrawn; Yonatan is fascinated by the planets; and Tzakhi, sensing Samir`s fear, frightens him with stories about his brother in the army. It is Yonatan who calms Samir, offers him friendship and tells him about the other world of the stars and planets. The book ends with an unexpected bond between Samir and Tzakhi who go on a spree through the hospital during their recovery. When Samir returns home, he knows he has seen the impossible happen: he has made friends with the enemy.

Samir and Yonatan was awarded an Honorable Mention from UNESCO for Children and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance (1997), the Berlin Prize for Best Children's Book in Translation (1997), the Silver Quill Award (Germany, 1997), the Batchelder Award for Best Translated Book by the American Library Association (2001) and the Italian WIZO Prize (2003).

Carmi Samir and Yonatan on Planet Mars
Title Samir and Yonatan on Planet Mars
Author’s Last Name Carmi
Author's First Name Daniella
Language(s) Hebrew, English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Azeri (Azerbaijan), Chinese, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish
Genre youth
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1994
No. Pages 124 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Samir Ve-Yonatan Al Kochav Maʹadim
Representation Represented by ITHL


Dutch: Baarn, Fontein, 1997
Spanish: Salamanca, Loguez, 1997; Mexico City, Castillo, 2013
German: Munich, Carl Hanser, 1996; pback: Munich, dtv, 2000; 2003
English: New York, Scholastic/Arthur Levine, 2000; pback: 2002
Japanese: Tokyo, Ca et La Shobo, 2001
Italian: Milan, Mondadori, 2002; Milan, Salani, 2010
French: Paris, Hachette Jeunesse/Mon Bel Oranger, 2002
Serbian: Novi Sad, Zmaj, 2002
Slovenian: Krize, Ucila, 2002
Chinese (complex): Taipei, Eastern Pub., 2002
Chinese (simplified): Nanjing, Jiangsu Children's Pub., forthcoming 
Thai: Bangkok, Bliss, 2004
Greek: Athens, Kastaniotis, 2005
Portuguese: Porto, Ambar, 2005
Korean: Seoul, Yewon Media, 2007
Arabic: Haifa, Kul Shee, 2007
Turkish: Istanbul, Pena, 2015
Azeri: Baku, Alatoran, 2016

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