written by Galit Seliktar
illustrated by Gilad Seliktar
Farm 54 is a collection of three semiautobiographical stories addressing three important periods in the life of the protagonist, Noga, born at the start of the 1970s and growing up in Israel's rural periphery. Substitute Lifeguard (1981) finds her toward the end of her childhood as she experiences a family trauma, a blessing, and a birthday. Spanish Perfume (1983) brings her to her teenage years in the wake of the first Lebanon War, while Houses (1989) portrays her passage to adulthood and hence military service in the occupied territories. These stories present the disturbing underground dimensions of adolescence and the dangers and traumas that subvert the superficial tranquillity of youth in the countryside. While these Israeli childhood stories take place in the shadow of war and occupation, they eventually also reflect universal feelings, passions, and experiences. Here's a sample of this incredible book.