Butterfly is not your average schoolgirl; at least not if you went to school in the UK. One of her best friends calls herself Dalal Mughrabi after the female Fatah fighter who played a central role in the 1978 Coastal Road massacre. Another classmate, Fida, is nicknamed Al-Khansa after an Arabian poet who was known for odes that mourned the loss of her two brothers. One of Fida’s brothers died in the First Intifada, the other in the second.
It is these experiences of being a teenager living under occupation in Palestine that Butterfly paints for the reader in “Code Name: Butterfly”, a coming of age novel set in a small Palestinian village and which has been shortlisted for the MEMO Palestine Book Awards. Butterfly and her friends are only around 14-years-old and yet they are already so engaged in politics because they’ve already lived through more than most adults will ever have to. As she says herself: “In Palestine children have to prove they’re children.”
This book has been shortlisted for the Palestine Book awards 2017, please click here to read the full review on the Palestine book awards site.