Oranges In No-man’s Land – Elizabeth Laird

Since her father left Lebanon to find work and her mother tragically died in a shell attack, ten-year-old Ayesha has been living in the bomb-ravaged city of Beirut with her granny and her two younger brothers. The city has been torn in half by civil war and a desolate, dangerous no man’s land divides the two sides. Only militiamen and tanks dare enter this deadly zone, but when Granny falls desperately ill Ayesha sets off on a terrifying journey to reach a doctor living in enemy territory.


15 thoughts on “Oranges In No-man’s Land – Elizabeth Laird

  1. Oranges in No-Man’s Land is written by Elizabeth Laird. It is a story about a young ten-year-old girl named Ayesha. There is a civil war going on in her country of Beirut. She fled with her brothers and Granny when a bomb killed her mother and destroyed her home. Living with her Granny and two brothers in a house with many other families never gets lonely. She soon makes friends with a deaf girl named Samar and learns how to use sign language. But Granny’s medicine runs out and she starts to get ill. Ayesha has to make a decision. Should she stay and hope Granny gets better. Or should she take the terrible dangerous journey across No-man’s Land to get the medicine. Of course she picks the second option and the story is mainly on her journey across No-man’s Land.
    It is a superb book and doesn’t take very long to read. You get absorbed into the story and it is like you are right there making the journey and feeling the fear with Ayesha. I would recommend anyone who loves a great adventure to read this book. Also I would recommend another book by Elizabeth Laird called Red Sky in the Morning, which is also a brilliant book.

  2. Oranges in No Man’s Land is about a young and naive 10 year old girl named Ayesha. She lives in Lebanon (Beirut to be precise) during the Civil War with her mother, granny and two brothers, Latif aged 7 and Ahmed, still a baby. He father works abroad and he is constantly looking for a better place for the family to live. Alas, one dreadful day, a bomb lands on her precious home and her mother is hit, leaving Ayesha and Granny to look after Latif and Ahmed. Latif soon finds a derelict and run-down flat where refugees and homeless people are boarding until the war ends. So, the family move in there and soon make friends with a middle aged woman Ayesha calls Mrs Zainab and her daughter Samar. Samar is deaf and through her disability, she teaches Ayesha to forget her misfortune and live her life. One day Granny has enough medicine- the next she is comatose and near death. Will Ayesha journey across the dreaded Green Line in order to retrieve some of Granny’s medicine?

    I think this book was very touching and heart-rending but I also think it didn’t really live up to expectations. My friend had been dying to read this book and so was I- but I was actually quite disappointed. Alas, it is a good book to read if you are learning about the Civil War in Beirut as it is a real eye-opener. Elizabeth Laird’s experience of the Civil War adds to the drama and suspense of the read.

    Overall comment: Slightly disappointing but deserves its credit!

  3. “Oranges in no man’s land” was a story that showed great courage by the little girl. She was very brave and very thoughtful. I enjoyed this book but it didn’t go into much detail and was quite young.

  4. Honest
    Not really a plot
    Disappointing ending
    Hard to get into
    Grown- up character
    Short and Simple
    To the point
    Amazing beginning
    Quite good

  5. This was a short book about a girl, Ayesha, whose Mama has just been killed by a bomb. Her two brothers, Ayesha and her Grandma flee and are eventually found by Mrs. Zainib.
    I didn’t really like this book.
    Firstly, I don’t really like books about war. Secondly, the ending wasn’t very good. It suddenly ended in about three sentences!
    The author did describe all the ruined scenery very well, though. A lot of sad things happened, but she still made Ayesha keep going strong.
    I liked how so many people like Mrs. Zainib were so kind, and how Ayesha didn’t understand about the fighting and the sides.

  6. I really like this book because it is nice and short if you just want a quick read. It is a good story and has a nice ending and I enjoyed reading it. It was sad in parts like when Ayesha’s best friend has to leave because it means she doesn’t have anyone to play with. I managed to read this book in a day and I liked it because it was short. I usually like to read thicker books so it was different to read a short one. I liked the way this book was written and the cover was quite eye-catching because the oranges stood out. If I saw a book cover with oranges on I would want to read the blurb to see what a book with oranges on the cover could be about.

  7. This book was a very moving book to read. It really helps that the author has experienced the war, which is in the story as it paints a very realistic picture in your head. The book is so heart-warming and makes you think how much you would want to do something for your Grandma like Ayesha did to her Grandma! My favourite part of the book is when Ayesha is on the ride home from Dr Leila’s house in Abu Bashir’s ambulance. It is a very exciting and exhilarating part of the story.

  8. ‘Oranges in No Man’s Land’ is a very good book. If I were to rate it out of 10 I would give it 9 and I will explain why here.

    ‘Oranges in No Man’s Land’ is a good book and it is very exciting in some parts too. I liked it because it is based on a real life story of the author, Elizabeth Laird. It is a very heart-warming book and I liked the ending. It was very happy, the main character, Ayesha, manages to save her Granny, but also very sad too, but I will not say what happens to her special friend.

    I think it is a book for all ages – it is not a thick book, so young children can read it too and I recommend it to adults as well. It is a quick book to read and a very nice one – everyone will enjoy it.

  9. its good it was all like a real story,
    the bad bit about it was on page 74 half way down it say’s
    “ould her murmmuring”

  10. I thought that oranges in no man’s land was an interesting book. It was extremely sad and a massive eye opener for me to see what conditions people were in during the Lebanon war. It was a tale of a girl showing great courage and risking death to do anything she could to help her family.
    Even though it was short you understood everything in the story but there was not much detail involved. I like to have a picture in my head when I am reading books but with the lack of detail I couldn’t do so with this book.
    In order to pull off a short story like this one you have to have the reader gripped from the beginning and not just starting to get into it at the last few pages, this book didn’t have me gripped from the start so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have had it done so.
    I thought every part of the book was well designed. I thought Elizabeth Laird could have moved me a lot more with this book than she did if it had included more description.
    A sad short story that teaches you quite a bit about the Lebanon war and lessons for life. This book was good but not overly spectacular, as I thought it was going to be.

  11. I did enjoy this book but I read it in a day
    I dont think you can call it a book. It is too short. The storry is quite good but its not a real adventure.

  12. I thought that this book was quite short and really should have been a section of a book maybe 4 times this book’s size.
    I think that although the idea of the occasional foreign word was great, I thought that maybe a glossary of the words at the back would have been a good idea.
    I thought that the story didn’t have much of a story to be honest but of the little story line that there was I thought it was quite good. If the author extended on her ideas more and brought in a couple of new points this book would probably be a good, average sized book.

  13. I thought Oranges in No mans land was a book with some good points and some bad points. I didn’t think there was much of a story to it as it was so short. I liked the way the book showed how Ayesha cared for everyone, no matter whether they were her family or not. This was shown when Ayesha risks her life to save her grandma.
    This book tells you how people lived in the war. It tells you about the cramped living conditions that some people had to suffer and the dangers that they all faced every single day.

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