You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah!

Fiona Rosenbloom, Author . Hyperion $15.99 (190p) ISBN 978-0-7868-5616-9

Through the voice of a stressed-out seventh grader, first novelist Rosenbloom sheds a humorous light on a Jewish girl's coming of age in this contemporary novel set in Westchester County, N.Y. Thirteen-year-old Stacy Friedman is looking forward to the "joyous occasion" of her upcoming bat mitzvah. However (as she confides to God) there are a few concerns she needs to address: namely, having to sing a portion of the Torah, having to dress up like an "American Girl doll" for her mother and having her rather conspicuous younger brother (who has "recently almost doubled in girth") attend her party. Besides being plagued with these anxieties, there's the matter of Stacy having a crush on Andy Goldfarb—whom she catches making out with her best friend, Lydia. Stacy, feeling betrayed, uninvites Lydia (and a few other classmates who stand up for Lydia) to her bat mitzvah, and it begins to look like the "joyous occasion" may end up a humongous disaster. Rosenbloom portrays Stacy as convincingly prickly but also shows her tender side in some poignant moments with her brother and mother, making this near-teen a flesh-and-blood character readers will recognize. Culminating in a unique bat mitzvah speech, which is sure to make even shiksas smile, this snappy novel shows the author's keen understanding of adolescent social pressures and conveys universal truths about growing pains, friendship and young love. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
Paperback - 190 pages - 978-0-7868-3891-2
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