This Is Just a Test

Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (258p) ISBN 978-1-338-03772-2
In this sensitively written story from Rosenberg (Nanny X) and Shang (The Way Home Looks Now), 12-year-old David is torn between two identities and two friends, and since it’s the Reagan-era ’80s he’s also terrified of nuclear war. David’s Chinese and Jewish grandmothers have uprooted themselves to be closer to David and his sister, and both women vie to make their culture the dominant one in the house. At school, David jumps at the chance to learn how to be smooth around girls from popular student Scott. David’s best friend Hector rounds out a trivia team that Scott and David form, but Hector’s uncool tendencies (such as his repeated references to old movies) lead David to leave Hector out of Scott’s new project: digging a fallout shelter. David is also preparing for his bar mitzvah, a journey filled with humor, emotional depth, and important realizations about what it means to be a friend and to embrace multiple cultures. His struggle to make sense of the Cold War will resonate with readers grappling with a confusing political climate themselves. Ages 8–12. Agent: (for Shang) Tracey Adams, Adams Literary; (for Rosenberg) Susan Cohen, Writers House. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 06/27/2017
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