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Confessions of a Closet Catholic

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  700 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Justine Silver's best friend, Mary Catherine McAllister, has given up chocolate for Lent, but Justine doesn't think God wants her to make that kind of sacrifice. So she's decided to give up being Jewish instead. Eleven-year-old Justine pours her heart out to her teddy bear, "Father Ted," in a homemade closet confessional. But when Justine's beloved Bubbe suffers a stroke,...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 4th 2006 by Puffin (first published February 3rd 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,231)
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Erica - Bonner Springs Library
Sarah Darer Littman is going to be talking to my teen writing group in November so I felt I should read one of her books. I loved this book!

Justine is eleven-almost-twelve-years-old and she's decided to give up being Jewish for Lent. Her best friend Mac is Catholic and Justine thinks that she'd be much happier as a Catholic.

Justine is a very likable character and I found myself really drawn in to her world. As a teenager who started to question my own religion at about 14 or 15, I could complet...more
Sarita Rucker
"Confessions of a Closet Catholic" by Sarah Darer Littman is a wonderful book. It can be found in the juvenile section of my local library and it's written for teens, but adults can also enjoy it. This adult certainly is. :)

It deals with everyday issues that teens can relate to: crushes, sibling rivalry, feelings of injustice, body image, and chocolate. Also, 11 year old Justine is trying to figure out religion.

Justine's family is Jewish, but she isn't overfond of the religion for various reason...more
Audrey  *Ebook and Romance Lover*

This book is perfect for anyone who is confused on what they believe in and want to know what to believe in.

Justine Silver is a Jewish 11 year old to be 12 year old girl. She is confused on her Jewish faith. Her parents seem to practice the religion in some way and her grandparents another way. And then there are all those other religions. Confused by all this Justine turns her attention to her best friend Mary or Mac who is Catholic. When Mac gives up chocolate for Lent Justine thinks that G...more
Nathalie S
The title of this book immediately hooked me! As a former Catholic, I enjoy immensely reading HUMOROUS books about Catholicism and other religions--which seem to fall into only 2 other categories: Jews and Muslims. So far, I haven't found any such books about protestants for example. Please disabuse me of the notion if you know of any such HUMOROUS book. I'd love to read it. In this book, Jewish teen Justine Silver wants to become a Catholic. Her Catholic friend's family seems just so much more...more
This is an absolutely endearing story about a modern preteen Jewish girl trying to find herself and figure out what she believes in this world. This has taken its place with Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli as one of my favorite children's stories. I would recommend this to anyone; most especially to adults, open enough to read a chilren's novel, who experienced that period of questioning their faith and who they are and manage to reflect on the confusion in an endearing sort of way.
Apr 09, 2014 Jada added it
When I picked up "Confessions of a Closet Catholic," the premise made me think about "Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret" since both feature girls in middle school who have recently moved and who explore religion. Confessions… deals with a crush on a boy but does not delve as deeply into sexuality as the Judy Blume classic does. And Justine is a middle child, so sibling rivalry plays a bigger role in this story than it does in Margaret’s. This book also tackles the death of a grandparent.

At tim...more
Be proud of where you come from. If you aren't happy with who you are, then the grass will always look greener somewhere else. But when you get there you won't be any happier, because you've taken your insecurities with you. (pg 44-45)
This was an adorable story about a Jewish girl who decides she is going to become "Catholic" for lent. Being the the realms of "interfaithness" (I know, not a word), I found it enjoyable.
A book for my 6th grade girls who are "running out of books" to read. I don't think any of them have read it yet. I will definitely be recommending this to them! On another note, I'd like to purchase my own copy (or two) to have available for my jr. high religious ed students. Gives me an idea to find more books on growing up and learning more about your faith ...... our bishop told our youth just last week, "Learn all you can about your faith. You are old enough to do it on your own. Take the i...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2009 Heidi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Heidi by: Meredith Veatch
As Meredith recommended, this was a great book to use in the Book Challenge as "read a book about a different religion than yours." This one had two--do I get double the points? :-)

There were plenty of flaws to this book that were a little annoying. They did not detract from the overall book, and I'm sure the audience it's geared toward would never even notice the discrepancies and other things I didn't like so much. For one, the girl is supposed to be 11, but so much of what she says, thinks, d...more
Justine Silver was just one young, ordinary, Jewish girl. She felt lost in her own world; her parents supposedly don't even love her. The only person she could talk to was her Bubby, her beloved grandmother. But one day, she finally found someone else, Mary McAllister, her new best friend. Mary lives in a very Catholic home, surrounded by a great and supportive family, who loves her. They all recently gave up one specific thing for lent. Justine seems to think that Judaism is not right for her,...more
Maria Wong
YA Multicultural Assignment:

“ A Confessions of a Closet Catholic” can attract young adult readers because of its easy read and sense of humor. The book begins with an eleven-year-old girl, Justine, who struggles with what ‘normal’ girls at that age struggle with: self-image, boys, and parent problems. Many can relate with Justine’s struggles because we all have at one point been embarrassed of our family and their idiosyncrasies. Justine is embarrassed about her Jewish heritage and attempts to c...more
Karen Green Panda
Although this was an easier book to read, it was enjoyable and funny. Justine was a really funny preteen girl facing typical teenage problems except for one, religion. Justine faces a problem in identifying herself with her religion. She is Jewish; however, her parents almost never go to the synagogue(except for mandatory days), they don't eat kosher, and they just don't follow all the "rules about being Jewish like her Bubbe. Her Bubbe was a holocaust survivor, naturally she is very religious...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for

This book is for anyone who has ever questioned their faith, lost a loved one, or yearned to understand life just a bit more. Sarah Darer Littman has captured Justine Silver, a confused Jewish girl, within the pages of CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC.

Justine is surrounded by her faith, but no one seems to celebrate it the same way. Her parents have one idea, her grandparents another. And then there are all those other religions -...more
Grizzly Bear
Aug 22, 2012 Grizzly Bear rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: The seriously bored, out of their mind type of people.
Recommended to Grizzly by: Got it myself.
Shelves: disliked
*I won't bother hiding this review. There ARE spoilers.*

Truthfully, when I picked up this book I thought it would be a good read. Boy, was I wrong. Justine Silver, the main character of this book is extremely annoying. She literally will NOT stop talking about chocolate in the book.





Justine also talks 24/7 about her grandmother, Bubbe. Maybe I'm exaggerating it,but if you take out her talking about chocolate, eating chocolate, thinking about chocolate, talking abo...more
A Book Addict (pirogoeth)
I feel like I understand some of what she's going through. One part is the friend. He didn't grow up in a very religious home and when he started learning about Judaism, he said it just made sense to him. That's how I feel about Catholocism. It's just right for me.

When I was in college it took me a couple of years to start going to Mass on my own. Until then it was always something that I had to get up early in the morning and dress nicely for. In Junior High and High School I started to enjoy i...more
Nicole Mohr
When I picked up Confessions of a Closet Catholic , I anticipated the cliché, shallow writing that is rampant in young adult literature these days. Fortunately, Littman proved me wrong with her multi-faceted approach to the religious exploration that is common during teenager years.

Growing up, I was not religious at all; however, at around the same age as Justine, I found myself in my own journey of religious exploration. I found Justine’s wonderings and insecurities spot on – I could remembe...more
Sarah Darer Littman is going to be talking to my teen writing group in November so I felt I should read one of her books. I loved this book!

Justine is eleven-almost-twelve-years-old and she's decided to give up being Jewish for Lent. Her best friend Mac is Catholic and Justine thinks that she'd be much happier as a Catholic.

Justine is a very likable character and I found myself really drawn in to her world. As a teenager who started to question my own religion at about 14 or 15, I could complet...more
It isn't that Justine is unhappy with being Jewish-she's just trying to understand what being Jewish means. A major theme of the book is how misunderstood she is within in family. Her father's favorite is her little brother and her mother's favorite is her perfect older sister. Justine's mom seems to care more about the carpets than her children. So, when Justine thinks of her friend Mac and Mac's large Catholic family and how they seem so loving and kind, she decides to see what being Catholic...more
Justine Silver is one of the most entertaining narrator/heroines I've read. As a Jewish girl who "practices" being Catholic in her closet (the title has multiple levels to it), she clearly illustrates the conflicts and questions many young people have about faith and religion. Justine is engaging throughout her religious experiments, and a lot of that is due to the fact that she never takes herself too seriously. While some of Justine's ideas/thoughts/actions might be a little too high level for...more
I actually really enjoyed this book as a Catholic. I could relate a lot actually to Justine at times. In the past I've found myself questioning my religion, wondering where I fit in, praying I'd remain steadfast, etc. Generally a light, amusing read.
I feel lucky that I'm able to understand and like Justine Silver in this book. This young girl embarks upon a religious journey seeking the approval of the people around her, especially her family. While she may seem like a whiny teen who thinks the world is out to get her, I think it's important for the reader to put themselves in a teen's mind. At that age, everyone is "unfair" and the world seems to be out to get you in your melodramatic mind. It takes tolerance: to be able to handle Justine'...more
I was charmed by the narrator's voice and related to her self-consciousness and self-deprecating comments as a child (and as an adult!); she's constantly berating herself for being klutzy, having frizzy hair, and being "fat" (though I suspected she was hardly fat at all, just berating herself for not looking like her blonde and beautiful sister). I am impressed by how the author handled the issues of religion and faith and family tradition with humor and sincerity. This is one of those books tha...more
This book I picked up in error not realizing it was YA until I was stuck without another book. I have to say although it was clearly for tweens it turned out to be a great read that was very thought provoking. I can really appreciate both children and adults having confusion, conflict, and question pertaining to re legion. The author did a great job of weaving strong relationships into the story, and giving the main character good outlets to work through her problems. I also felt that it was nic...more
I read this book as part of our "Tween reading group" I am running this summer. I think for the age group it is written for it is brilliant. The way Justine questions her religion and faith is honest and real. The reason I did not give it 5 stars is the lying. Justine never learns to really tell the truth. She was in the process of realizing this and I realize she is only 11 but still I could not give it 5 stars for that reason.

I believe if you are Catholic or Jewish this book will be hilarious...more
Kayla Whitlock
Great book for girls who are facing the typical preteen drama.
Donna Nix
Nice coming of age story with a faith element. Liked it!
this is a coming of age story of justine silver. she is jewish, but gives that up for lent when she decides to be catholic - modeling herself after her best friend mac.

justine's life is that of a typical eleven year old - she hates her hair, her skin and her body. she thinks her mother loves her sister more and her father loves her brother. the curse of the middle child. the only person that understands her is her bubbe - who has recently had a stroke and is recovering in the silver household.

May 05, 2012 Erin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erin by: This book is about a gril named Justine Silver. She is Jewish bu
Shelves: my-favorites
This book is about a gril named Justine Silver. She is Jewish but she wants to be catholic. For Lent Justine gives up being Jewish.

Jussy Confesses to her teddy bear Father Ted, In her Closet. She recieves communuin in there with grape-juice and matzo balls. When Jussy's mom (a.k.a. miss clean) finds out about the food in the room she gets jussy in a lot of trouble.

No one in her famly understands justine except for her Bubby. But when Jussy's bubby dies becuse of a stroke, Justine Silver has to l...more
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Sarah Darer Littman is the award-winning author of CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC, PURGE, LIFE, AFTER and the upcoming WANT TO GO PRIVATE? In addition to writing for teens, she is a columnist for Hearst Newspapers (CT) and for the website She lives in Connecticut with her family and three exceptionally cute dogs, in a house that never seems to have enough bookshelves.

Tweeters f...more
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“Maybe that's what praying is all about. Maybe it's not just asking God to forgive us for bad things or asking Him for good things. Maybe it's just the act of praying and feeling that there's someone up there listening that makes us feel better and less helpless.” 13 likes
“No matter which road you decide to take on your life's journey, just make sure God is an intimate part of it.” 12 likes
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