Twelve-year-old Ariel Goldberg's life feels like the moment after the final guest leaves the party. Her family's Jewish bakery runs into financial trouble; her mother thinks her struggles with putting pencil to paper are laziness, not a disability; and her older sister has eloped with a young man from India following the 1967 Loving vs. Virginia Supreme Court decision that strikes down laws banning interracial marriage. Ariel knew that Leah was in love with Raj, but she didn't expect her to run off with him — and especially not without even leaving her a note.
Now Ariel has to wrestle with both the anti-Semitism she faces regularly, and the dawning realization of her own family's prejudices. As change becomes Ariel's only constant, she's left to hone something that will be with her always — her own voice. Inspired in part by the author's parents' interracial marriage, this heartfelt historical fiction novel explores assimilation, identity, and the power of defining your own beliefs.
"Her mother sees Ari’s struggle with dysgraphia as laziness, and as the only Jewish kid in sixth grade, she faces antisemitism that goes unrecognized by her teachers. Her strained relationship with her parents and their beliefs rings heartbreakingly true alongside her struggle to find her own voice through poetry.... Sacrifices in the service of assimilation, the lies we tell the people we love most, and how we go about forgiving them are given specificity in Ari’s matter-of-fact and observant second-person present point of view." — Kirkus Reviews
|10 - 13
|Sep 14, 2021