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Children's Fiction Prejudice & Racism

Enemy Territory

by (author) Sharon E. McKay

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2012
Prejudice & Racism, Middle East
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


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.

About the author

Sharon E. McKay is the award-winning author of many books based on real events, including War Brothers: The Graphic Novel and Thunder Over Kandahar. She was also named a Canadian War Artist and spent time in Afghanistan embedded with the Canadian troops. She lives in Prince Edward Island.

Sharon E. McKay's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“The prevailing message is powerful.”

Library Media Connection, 04/13

“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

“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

“An eclectic mixture of adventure, drama, and humor . . . also reveals how resilience, forgiveness, and tolerance can triumph.”

Edwards Book Club, 10/01/12

“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

“McKay ably . . . illustrates the deep-seated hatred and misinformation each side has for the other.” 

VOYA, 12/12

“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

“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

Other titles by Sharon E. McKay