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Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books

Coming of Age: 13 B’nai Mitzvah Stories

Book Details

Genre & Age: contemporary middle grade anthology (ages 9-12)
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages, 8″ x 5.5″
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co.
ISBN: 978-0807536674
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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Little Red Cuttlefish Goodreads Reviews

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.

Praise

“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!”

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