Genre & Age: contemporary middle grade anthology (ages 9-12)
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages, 8″ x 5.5″
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co.
Authors: Sarah Aronson, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Barbara Bottner, Stacia Deutsch, Debbie Reed Fischer, Debra Green Garfinkle, Henry Herz, Alan Katz, Nancy Krulik, Stacie Ramey, Jonathan Rosen, Melissa Roske & Laura Shovan, plus a poem from Jane Yolen.
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What does it mean to become an adult in your faith? Join thirteen diverse characters as they experience anxiety, doubt, and self-discovery while preparing for their b’nai mitzvah. And whether celebrating with a lavish party or in reception room A with an accordion player, the Jewish rite of passage remains the same. Filled with humor, hope, and history, there’s something in this anthology for every reader, regardless of their faith.
“A hilarious, intimate, essential x-ray of the young Jewish soul right on the brink of adulthood.”
– Lev Grossman, NY Times bestselling author of The Magicians
“As an elderly Jewish author who was never Bar Mitzvah, I was delighted by COMING OF AGE. It’s a touching, charming and genuinely funny book.”
– Peter S. Beagle, Award-winning author of The Last Unicorn
Booklist Reviews: “Twelve short stories and a poem, connected by shared faith and stage of life, explore the Jewish rite of passage of b’nai (bar and bat) mitzvah in an expansive and accessible collection for middle-grade readers of any faith. With contributions from notables including Jane Yolen (“Ceremony”) and Laura Shovan (“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bimah”), this easygoing collection spans millennia and locales. Stops along the way include Noah’s Ark, the Upper West Side in 1922, hotel reception rooms, synagogues, Greece, and even the pun-filled Planet Latke. Mitzvot are made and valuable lessons learned, particularly among protagonists who appreciate the sentiment behind their simpler celebrations. “[T]he yacht, the band, the dancing—they were all false idols” to the girl envying her cousin’s lavish party from her own pandemic-era parking-lot affair. The feel-good collection weaves threads among disparate adolescent episodes in a way that successfully honors the individuality of the coming-of-age experience without losing sight of this unifying factor: Judaism. Mazel tov!”
Learn some fun Yiddish terms
- 2022-02-24: Author panel with Barbara Bottner, Jonathan Rosen, Henry Herz, Stacia Deutsch hosted by Los Angeles Public Library.
- 2022-03-10: Middle Grade Magic panel hosted by School Library Journal.
- 2022-04-28: Book launch with Laura Shovan and Nancy Krulik at Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore, 6 pm EST
- 2022-05-01: Story reading with Debra Green and Henry Herz in Solana Beach, CA hosted by Temple Solel.
- 2022-06-11: Book launch with Henry Herz and Stacia Deutsch at Mysterious Galaxy Books in San Diego, 2 pm PST
- Jewish authors illuminate audience at Delray library (The Palm Beach Post)
- 100 Amazing Middle Grade Books Releasing in 2022 (Reading Middle Grade blog)
- Think Like a Kid (Boca Raton Observer)
- 2022 MG/YA Book Recommendations (Western PA Council of Teachers of English)
- Storystorm 2022 Day 13: Melissa Roske
- Youth Services Book Review
- Coming of Age authors Laura Shovan, Debbie Reed Fischer & Nora Raleigh Baskin in Must-Read Books for Jewish Girls (Kveller)
- Interview with Barbara Bottner at Jewish Books for Kids
- Story Insights from Authors of COMING OF AGE (KidLit Creatives)
- Author Interview – Henry Herz & Jonathan Rosen (Bookishly Jewish)
- Coming of Age: 13 B’nai Mitzvah Stories + Interview with Nancy Krulik (Middle Grade Minded)
- Coming of Age: 13 B’Nai Mizvah Stories (Jewish Book Council)
- Author Interview: Laura Shovan (Cynsations)
- Interview: Henry Herz Helped Create B’Nai Mitvah Book To Increase Jewish Representation In KidLit (Elena Reads)
- A Poem by Jane Yolen (Laura Shovan)
- Q&A with author Melissa Roske, Coming of Age: 13 B’nai Mitzvah Stories (Jessica Hoffman)
- Local Jewish authors tell diverse bar/bat mitzvah stories in new anthology for all (Palm Beach Post)
- If I Try to Be Like Someone Else, Who Will Be Like ME? (Nerdy Book Club)
- Book Q&As with Sarah Aronson (Deborah Kalb)
- Review: Coming of Age: 13 B’nai Mitzvah Stories (The Sydney Taylor Shmooze)
- New Book Alert: Coming of Age: 13 B’nai Mitzvah Stories (Elisa Zied)