The year is 1988 in Gaza City, and it has been a month since eleven-year-old Malaak's father left to seek work in Israel, only to disappear. Every day Malaak climbs to the roof and waits, speaking little to anyone, preferring the company of the little bird she has tamed. But her twelve-year-old brother, Hamid, has a different way of coping. He feels only anger, stoked by extremists who say violence is the only way to change their fate. Malaak's mother begs him to stay away from harm, but Malaak lives in fear of losing her brother as well. What will it take for her to find her voice--and the strength to move past the violence that surrounds her?