Often when I feel like reading has become a chore instead of a pleasure, I pick up a Young Adult novel and, somehow, I feel renewed and ready to read everything in sight. In this case, I was lucky to have a new list -- Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Book Awards thanks to the Boston Bibliophile. So this was the first book from the list that I decided to read and it was a great choice.
Simone Turner is a sixteen year old girl who is, for the most part, happy with her life. She loves her adoptive parents, rather likes her younger brother, has a crazy best friend, and is dealing with the normal teenage issues. [I loved Simone’s parents, who seemed like hippy activists.] Simone’s biggest problem is that she does not really want to meet her birth mother who has suddenly called and asked to meet her. With only slight pressure from her parents, Simone finally agrees and finds that her mother Rivka was raised in a Hasidic Jewish family and got pregnant when she was sixteen. Rivka was shunned by her family – finally deciding to give her baby to the Turners. Rivka introduces Simone to her brand of the Jewish faith which includes some of the loving rituals that bring her peace. In the beginning, Simone cannot understand this brand of faith as she professes to be an atheist. After a number of awkward family gatherings and a visit at Rivka’s home, Simone comes to understand that faith has the potential to sustain someone in the most difficult times and can be the only thing left to hold on to.
TITLE: A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life
AUTHOR: Dana Reinhardt
TYPE: fiction, young adult
AWARDS: 2007 Honor Award for Teens, Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Book Awards
RECOMMEND: I loved it.
13 October 2008
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