The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah
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The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah

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3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  41 reviews
I put my fingers up to my throat and touched the pointy Star of David, my grandmother's necklace, a delicate chain made up of countless tiny links. If I wear this, will people think I am Jewish?

Is that what I want to be?


Seventh-grader Caroline Weeks has a Jewish mom and a non-Jewish dad. When Caroline's nana dies around the same time that Caroline's best friend, Rachel...more
ebook, 144 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Aladdin (first published March 25th 2008)
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Kit
One of the blurbs called this a modern Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, but other than having a main character who's entering puberty and uncertain about her religious identity, there's not much that the two have in common. Baskin's verision of twelve-going-on-thirteen doesn't have the news flashes that made Are You There, God? required reading for my generation so that we could find out everything the adults weren't telling us about feminine hygeine. (Baskin mentions bras, but not periods...more
Teresa
This wonderful book begins with a quote, in Yiddish: "If I try to be like him, who will be like me?" How do we know who we are? Our family is not Jewish, but I think that many tweens and teens (and adults!) struggle with their religious and cultural identity: What do I really believe? What will people think of me? Why is my family the way it is? Family history shapes so much of who we are and who we will be, often without our knowing it. As Caroline remembers her grandmother, and learns more abo...more
Mimi
The main character in this book, Caroline, is twelve, going on thirteen, and she is going through a lot of changes in her life. Her grandmother, to whom she was very close, has passed away. Her grandmother, Nana, left her a necklace with a Jewish Star of David on it. Meanwhile, her best friend, Rachel, is getting ready to have her bat mitzvah. Caroline says that she is half Christian/half Jew, but it seems, to me, as though she has just been raised American with no religion. She starts to wonder...more
Emma705


I think Caroline's Grandma's death led to her finding her true religion! For example, after her grandma died she's got the necklace and she wore it almost everyday. She also started to want a Bat Mitzvah for herself!

A lot of times, people don't know their religion or they are atheist. It all affects your lifestyle. People are judged by their religion too! Like people used to make fun of religious jews even though they knew I was jewish too!

Caroline also was so sensitive with religion. She alway...more
Kristy
I wanted to read this one because of the mixed reviews it got in different journals. Caroline Weeks is Jewish by birth, but not as far as her beliefs. When her grandmother dies, Caroline starts thinking more about "being Jewish" but not because of the recent death. Her grandmother left her a star of David necklace. Baskin doesn't go deeper than religious symbols to talk about what it really means to have faith and believe. Sadly, when Caroline's best friend has her bat mitzvah, Caroline negates...more
Paige Y.
When I picked up this book, I thought it would be about a twelve-year old girl trying to decide whether or not she wanted to have a Bat Mitzvah. It was more about a young girl who was deeply grieving over her grandmother's death. Caroline's mother is Jewish and her father is Christian and Caroline doesn't know what she is. Besides a token celebration of Hanukkah and Christmas, she has grown up religious at all. When her grandfather gives her the Star of David necklace that belonged to her grandm...more
Andrea
3.5 stars

This was a sweet little book. Caroline is sad when her grandmother dies and she receives a Star of David necklace from her. Slowly she begins to explore her Jewish identity as her best friend prepares for her bat mitzvah. She begins to understand the grown-up relationships around her are not as simple as she assumed. She wonders if she has the right to become bat mitzvah because her family is lax about keeping the customs and religious days and her father is not Jewish. But then, with t...more
Talia
Caroline’s grandmother has just died, and when she is given her grandmother’s Star of David, she begins to ponder her heritage. Her mother is Jewish, but Caroline has been raised as a “lax Jew” for most of her life. Soon Caroline is wondering about who she is, and what impact her religious decisions will have on the rest of her family.

Like another reviewer said, this book is not about Bat Mitzvahs, as the title implies, but about a girl’s self-discovery and finding out about her heritage. While...more
Lana Jackson
Thirteen-year-old Caroline, daughter of a Jewish mom and a non-Jewish dad, takes more interest in her Jewish heritage after the death of her grandmother. While grappling with identiy issues, Caroline helps her best friend plan her Bat Mitzvah and comes to terms with who she wants to be.

I enjoyed the character growth of Caroline, the way she expressed herself, and her age-appropriate emotions.
Jane
Some reviewers wanted this book to have more specific information and detail about Judaism and Jewish culture. This would have been wonderful, but I can't fault the author for handling the story the way she did. Unfortunately it's very hard to have a book about an ethnic or religious minority group published if it doesn't work very hard to present itself as something that non-group members will be able to easily relate to. Caroline wonders what the phrase "too Jewish" means. This is something ch...more
Aili
I have never read a book compared to "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" that wasn't an insult to Judy Blume. This book is about a jewish girl and that's where the similarity ends. "Truth" is a formulaic, predictable book that does have some thought-provoking faith-based ideas in it. However, it is too little and too generic to really be powerful. It has no cultural context to redeem it either. It is appropriate for the age group and may bring some good questions to the pre-teen mind: who yo...more
Lisa
This book reminded me a lot of "Are You There God? It's me Margaret". The story begins as Caroline loses her grandmother and inherits her Star of David necklace. Meanwhile her best friend is planning a Bat Mitzvah party. Caroline deals with the loss of her grandmother and her own nagging questions about the religion her parents never practice. Trying not to hurt the feelings of her Christian father and Jewish mother both of whom have an ambiguous relationship with organized religion Caroline nav...more
Greengirl
I loved this book! It was very religious, but that doesn't mean you have to be religious or that certain religion to read this book.

Caroline has always had trouble deciding whether she is Christian or Jewish, but when her extremely Jewish Grandmother passes away and leaves her her Star of David necklace she is determined to decide. There are many ups and downs in this book and not everything has a happy ending. Even with that though, this book was full of lessons and it really gave me a new vi...more
Gabrielle
This was an interesting book.
Caroline is a girl with a Jewish mother and a Christian father who is trying to decide which religion to choose.
When her Jewish Nana dies, Caroline is lead to discover many ideas and stories of the struggle of her Nana's Jewish family.

This is a great book for people of all religions and ages, but especially pre-teen and teen girls.

This book is clearly able to capture the feelings, thoughts, and struggles of a young girl. It's very well-written.
Tessa
This book will find many comparisons to the classic Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret? The story is does not delve too deeply into questions about faith, but it does offer a nice portrait of a young girl trying to determine what it means to her to be Jewish. It is a good title for children who have parents of different religions and for kids who are looking for a protagonist who is trying to decide who she really wants to be in life.
Laurie
May 04, 2009 Laurie added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laurie by: http://http://readingandbreathing.blogspot.com/2009/04/truth-abo
Shelves: wmslibrary, wms-order
A really nice story about a twelve-year-old girl, raised without religion, beginning to wrestle with questions of faith as she faces her Jewish grandmother's death and her best friend's impending bat mitzvah. Great pick for older elementary/middle school readers; could be a good follow up to Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret (though some readers would be disappointed in the lack of discussion around periods, in this book).
Jennifer
I liked this book but read it because I was hoping to learn more about the Jewish culture as I have a Jewish child in my classroom. I learned more about the culture from the glossary than I did the entire story. The story was cute but didn't explore the Jewsih religion. I found it to be a cute story of friendship between Caroline and Rachel and I liked how there was a love interest in a male character in this story.
Megan
Caroline receives her grandmother's Star of David necklace from her grandfather after her grandmother dies. She's not sure if she wants to wear it since her mother is Jewish but her father isn't. She doesn't want to offend either parent. Her best friend is about to have a bat mitzvah, and Caroline starts to wonder if she should have one too. A sensitive treatment of a girl's search for her religious identity.
Kris
Recommended for gr. 5-9. A young girl becomes interested in her Jewish heritage, although her father is Christian and her mother does not practice Jewish traditions. In the process, she becomes close to older relatives and discovers their history, and finds out about true friendship. A very enjoyable book, Caroline's voice rings true and her family seems real.
meg
i read this because one of my voracious readers wanted to know my opinion before she dug in. meanwhile she's reading another one and we're gonna swap opinions next time she's in. this is a total three-and-a-halfer; a thoughtful read with a winning protagonist. as a half-jewish girl herself, i think she'll be into this, so i'm definitely recommending.
AnnaBnana
Dubbed as the next, "Are you there God?" It's not. The book is super slim and I didn't get through it. I just wasn't into the story at all. I suppose for tweens who can identify with religious exploration or questions about their heritage it might be good, but I just couldn't get hooked.
♥Rachel♥
This book was just amazing!
I loved it!
Caroline's grandmother has just died and Caroline inherits her grandma's star of david necklace. Once Caroline realizes she truly wants to be Jewish- the book changes and is really good!
Also- her best friend Rachel is having a Bat Mitzvah!
Kathy
Judy Blume did this a lot better in Are you there, God? It's Me, Margaret. As a product of an inter-faith marriage, this subject generally resonates with me, but this book was just skated along the surface with no real crisis or self-examination.
Raissa
A pre-teen struggles with her identity--not a new theme, but in this case a Star of David necklace given to her by her deceased grandmother is the central symbol of a Jewish identity she knows little about, but to which she is drawn.
Robin
More a story of a young girl coming to terms with loss and trying to decide who she is. Moved me to tears on several occasions. Not what I was expecting.

I really miss my grandmas.
Allison
Baskin did a lot better with *What Every Girl (except me) Knows.* This book addresses a good topic though--a girl questioning her religious beliefs, with a Christian and Jewish background.
Marti
Interesting story about a girl grieving for her grandmother and starting to discover her Jewish roots. Not a lot about the actual Bat Mitzvah celebration/ceremony though.
Joshua
I liked this book a lot, but it is rather girly, and I am not sure it will have a huge audience. I think ANything but Typical is a stronger work despite an ick cover!
Tami
this book was not what i expected. i connected to it on a much deeper level in that i think back often on the loss of my grandmother as well.
Rachel
It was a great book about the close relationship between two best friends. It also it taught you the meaning of a TRUE bat mitzvah.
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280493
Truth- I started writing seriously in 5th grade. I began with poetry. All I remember about my first poem, was that it had something to do with reincarnation. It was short but startlingly profound (so I thought). But what I remember most was my teacher’s reaction. She loved it. My life was changed. I had discovered the power of words.

By 6th grade I was writing short stories and keeping journals. I...more
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