Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust

Leanne Lieberman. Orca, $12.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-459-80109-7
Lauren Yanofsky, an intelligent and inquisitive high school junior, decided three years ago to renounce her Jewish faith, deeply disappointing her parents. She grew up going to a “cliquey” Hebrew school and having a Holocaust historian for a father, which meant that most family vacations involved visiting sites of Jewish persecution. A combination of learning that several of her ancestors were killed in the Holocaust and diving headlong into researching the subject led Lauren to distance herself from Judaism (“Why would anyone want to belong to a religion that was all about loss, grief and persecution?”). Meanwhile, at the public school Lauren insisted on attending, her friends are growing apart, and her crush, Jesse, shows an unexpected interest in her. When Lauren catches Jesse with a group of drunken boys pretending to be Nazis, however, she reconsiders her relationship with the religion she’s turned away from. Lieberman (The Book of Trees) smoothly weaves humor and knowledge about Judaism through Lauren’s story. Lauren’s narration is contemplative and from the heart, and readers should relate to her attempts to identify her beliefs and tackle life’s big questions. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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