top of page

Daniella Carmi


Daniella Carmi, an Israeli author, translator and screenwriter, was born in Tel Aviv. Her books have been translated into 18 languages, and have won many prizes. Samir and Yonatan, a book for young adults, received an Honorable Mention from UNESCO for Children and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance (1997); the Berlin Prize for Best Children's Book in Translation and the Silver Quill Award (both Germany, 1997); the Batchelder Award for Best Translated Book by the American Library Association (US; 2001), and the Italian WIZO Prize (2003). Artane, a play, won first prize at The Akko Festival (1998); and her book Where Do Grandpas Fly? (2015) won the Ramat Gan Prize. Carmi has also been awarded the ACUM Prize (2002), and was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Prize in 2015. Carmi's work is anchored by her unflinching belief in the values of tolerance and equality. She is an active participant in social initiatives promoting peace and coexistence.

Title: ¡Ay Carmela!


Publisher: MS; to be announced

Year: Forthcoming

Translation rights: World

Audio visual rights: World

Just like any other child her age, nine-year-old Noa lives in a carefree world full of laughter. Life revolves around playing with Omer, her naughty kid brother, instructions from mom on what to eat for lunch – and also a bit around Roberto, the new kid in class, from Argentina. It’s Noa’s birthday in a few days, and the excitement is mounting: will Dad invite a balloon artist to her birthday party?

But one day, without warning, everything changes. Mom is tense and absent-minded. Dad is preparing for reserve duty, but strangely does not take his army boots with him and says that he’ll be away for longer this time. Will Noa’s birthday have to be postponed?


Neither Noa nor her brother understand what’s going on. Omer is disappointed that Dad won’t come on vacation with his Army rifle, and that he won’t have the chance to brag about him in the neighborhood. Noa doesn’t get why Dad won’t be coming back from reserve duty with the strawberry-flavored waffles that she loves, or why he won’t be escorting the class trip – or, in fact, why he is going to jail for a few weeks…

Dad tries to explain what’s going on to Noa, but Mom is certain that the truth isn’t at all suitable for children. For the first time in her life, Noa learns that reserve duty isn’t just about training in the hills. It is also at a place called a “checkpoint,” and that Dad doesn’t like being there.

Noa secretly tells her best friend that her dad is going to jail. But no one seems to understand. If her teacher finds out that Dad is not a hero like the Maccabees in the Chanukah story, she’ll be really unhappy.

Ay Carmela! the new story by beloved writer Daniela Carmi, is a gentle and touching tale about an Israeli girl coming face to face with the political situation in her country for the first time in her life. As with Samir and Yonathan – her international bestseller for teenagers (published in 18 languages), awarded many prizes including a Honorable mention from UNESCO for Children and Young People’s Literature in the Service of Tolerance – Carmi brings her extraordinary talent to this tale, enchanting its young readers with its captivating central characters, in a story that combines painful reality and the message of solidarity and peace.

Daniella Carmi: Fiction

bottom of page