Determined to Stay – Palestinian Youth Fight for Their Village

“What is life like for you, Jody Sokolower asks the children and young people of the Palestinian village of Silwan. Her extraordinary book tells their stories … And she brings the stories home, documenting the parallel histories in which Israeli efforts to destroy Palestinian lives and seize their land are met with the same generations of resistance as US efforts to eliminate the Indigenous people of this land.”
–Phyllis Bennis, author of Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict



by Jody Sokolower

Silwan is a Palestinian village located just outside the ancient walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Determined to Stay: Palestinian Youth Fight for Their Village is a moving story of a village and its people.

As Silwani youth and community members share their lives with us, their village becomes an easily accessible way to understand Palestinian history and current reality. Written with young people in mind, the richly illustrated text stresses connections between the lives of youth in the US and Palestine: criminalization of youth, forced relocation, the impact of colonialism on Indigenous communities, efforts to bury history, and inspiring examples of resistance and resilience.

About the Author

Jody Sokolower is co-coordinator of the Teach Palestine Project at the Middle East Children’s Alliance. Formerly managing editor of Rethinking Schools, Jody is a teacher educator who has taught middle and high school social studies and English. She was lead editor of Rethinking Sexism, Gender and Sexuality and editor of Teaching about the Wars in the Middle East.


Determined to Stay is one of the rare non-fiction, young adult books that center contemporary Palestinian experiences and voices. Teachers and students will quickly recognize that this valuable resource was written by a skilled educator, and one with deep knowledge about how to teach social justice issues to youth … [It] is a valuable resource for all of us who want to keep education relevant, honest and effective in our struggle to improve the world in which we live.”
—Nora Lester Murad, Mondoweiss

“Jody Sokolower weaves a transnational story across settler-colonial geographies from Northern California to East Jerusalem to illuminate ongoing struggles for land and freedom. Using her personal story as a teacher in community with young people, she highlights the entwinements of knowledge and power that reinforce oppressive status quos and possible futures by forefronting the stories of Palestinian youth, who speak loudly and clearly in their own voices. Determined to Stay is a must-read book for all ages and stands to fill a critical gap in US standard curricula.”
— Noura Erakat, activist and human rights attorney, author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine, co-editor of Jadaliyya

“What a treasure this book is. In story after story, Determined to Stay: Palestinian Youth Fight for their Village invites young people—and all the rest of us—into the lives of Palestinians. We witness their struggles and the daily outrages that make life for young Palestinians so hard. Sokolower’s book is a testament to resilience and people’s remarkable tenacity in braiding lives of dignity. And it does not leave these issues ‘over there.’ An Indigenous activist in California tells Sokolower: ‘To decolonize is to tell the truth.’ We hear what Palestine and the occupation mean to young people here. Poignant and personal, Determined to Stay brings Palestine to life for US students.”
— Bill Bigelow, curriculum editor, Rethinking Schools, author of Rethinking Globalization

“In an accessible and engrossing narrative, Determined to Stay offers students—and the rest of us—a rare opportunity to hear Palestinian youth and their families talk about their lives. Most exciting are the many connections drawn between how young people experience colonial conquest in the United States and in Palestine, and the focus on resistance and resilience. This wonderful book is the perfect introduction to Palestine and why it matters. It’s also a deep and thoughtful exploration of one village—Silwan—for those already knowledgeable about Palestine.”
— Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Not “a Nation of Immigrants”: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion and An Indigenous History of the United States

Book details

Book Size: 6 x 9

Pages: 240

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781623718886

Imprint: Olive Branch Press

Illustrations: Illustrations, black & white

Release date: Spring 2021

Foreword by: Nick Estes

Additional information

Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 6 × 6 × 1 cm


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