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The World Outside

liked it 3.00  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  30 reviews
An informative and powerful novel, The World Outside explores the life of a teenage girl in a fundamentalist Hasidic community who dreams of a different future.
     Seventeen-year-old Chanie Altman lives the protected life of a Lubavitcher Hasidic girl in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, in 1991. Religion is the most important aspect of her life, and, like other Lubavit
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Tundra Books
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liked it Average rating 3.00  · 
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Apr 26, 2014 added it
This book was awful. It was labeled as YA but was written in a dull, immature voice for the high school senior protagonist. The portrait painted of Lubavitch Chasidic culture was quite frankly offensive. I have spent a lot of time in Crown Heights, and I grew up in a Lubavitch community even though I'm not Lubavitch myself, and the way she portrays the community and the people is not only inaccurate but hurtful and damaging. I shudder to think what ideas people reading this book who know nothing ...more
Michele C
Aug 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book has left me so conflicted...on one hand I couldn't stop reading it and I guess you could say I was kind of well addicted to it ,yet on the on the other hand this book left me frustrated and angry by how offensive it was. That is why this book no matter how quickly I flew through it gets only one meager star--to be honest if I could I would give this book less than one stars, yet since that isn't an option so one star it is.

Wiseman's novel is told through the narration of a 17 year o
Jenni Frencham
Chanie is a Hasidic Jew and lives in a sheltered community with others of her sect. She is in her final year of high school when she meets a boy who suggests that she might want to consider something more. She loves to sing but is not allowed to do so in her community, and David convinces her to audition for Julliard. She is accepted into Julliard, but then she has to decide if her love of singing is more important to her than the community where she has grown up.

This was an interesting story.
Sep 17, 2014 added it
Shelves: manitoba
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 22, 2014 rated it liked it
The World Outside, by Eva Wiseman all revolves around the main
character Chanie, a Lubavitcher Haisdic girl, living in 1991. Chanie is a seventeen year old, on her last year of high school. She lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. Like all Lubavitcher girls religion is very important to her. "Go for Sunday dollars and ask his advice. The Rebbe will tell you what to do" (Wiseman 110).Following her religion Chanie is expected to attend a seminary and get married right after she graduates fr
Michelle Kidwell
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing

The World Outside

by Eva Wiseman

Random House of Canada Limited

Tundra Books
Teens & YA, Children’s Fiction

Pub Date Apr 8, 2014

Chanie Altman is seventeen years old and lives in a Hasidic Jewish community in 1991. Her world centers around her religion, her faith and traditions. Chanie is also a twin her brother Moishe did not get enough oxygen at birth. Chanie’s family is strict her Mother will not allow her to be friends with anyone outside her faith, but she has a clo
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it
This was an interesting read for me, not being from a Jewish background. I am a Christian & could understand some of the text much better because of this. Some of the vocabulary used was more 'religious' in nature & it was not until the end of the novel, that I realized there was a glossary, which would have helped readers without a religious background.

I found Eva Wiseman's writing style to be very flowy & smooth. She writes as though she is right in the story, as if telling her own story.

Apr 09, 2014 rated it liked it
This YA novel about a Lubavitcher girl, who, when a public librarian suggests she read The Chosen, she doesn’t see how similar her disapproving, ok, also hateful and awful mom is to the one of the dads in that other novel. It's a terrible, abusive way to raise a child and I fear that two fictional parents in this very real community feel that it is acceptable.

Chanie loves to sing. She applies to Julliard, with the help of a Jewish boy who is not observant. (view spoiler)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
I am conflicted about this book. Although it was okay, I am hesitant to give it more than two stars.

The book follows Chanie, a Lubavitcher Hasidic girl in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York in 1991. It touches on her strict religion, her struggles with her parents, her love of singing (Which is forbidden by her religion) and her first love with a non-Lubavitcher boy she meets. All of this is set against the backdrop of the Crown Heights riots.

While this book was good, it dragg
I was excited to win a copy of The World Outside by Eva Wiseman through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program. The book takes place in 1991 in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. Chanie, the book's main character is a Lubavitcher girl, part of a strict Hasidic sect of Judaism. Chanie has always accepted her culture and her sheltered lifestyle but has begun to rebel a bit as she grows older. When she meets a David a Jewish boy who is not Hasidic she begans to look at her families lifestyle ...more
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Growing up in NJ during the 1980's and 90's I recall hearing the news about the incident in Crown Heights. I have some experience with Lubavitch in a community that I worked security in which was a mix with blacks. There was quite some conflict. It was a class of cultures.

[The World Outside] by [Eva Wiseman] was simply written but at times seemed to be like an after school special plot. It seems to be written for a specific community who can not read it. I would have liked to see more about the
Amy Ratner
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
** spoiler alert**
I am torn about giving this two or three stars. I commend the author for not repeating the same story told a million times before - the girl leaves her family and hates being Lubavitcher..... However I find it difficult to believe that her mother would repeat the same punishment imposed on her to her daughter. Lubavitcher is a pretty open community where there would have been many outlets for Chanie to have shared her gift. The story of the riots was interesting and different.
Ariel Caldwell
May 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting to read a coming-of-age, identity story written from the perspective of a Lubavitcher teen. I would love to discuss this with a multicultural group of teens: should Chanie leave her tight-knit family & culture in order to pursue a dream only available to her outside her cultural group? What happens if you have a crush on someone whose life is completely different from yours?

Overall, I think some elements of the story could use more detail and fleshing out, but I appreciate the quest
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and captivating story. Chanie, a senior in high school, is a Lubavitcher Hasidic girl in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, in 1991. In this book, we learn about the riots during that time there, the extreme fundamentalism of the Hasidic Jewish community and see how Chanie struggled with her love of music and singing and a young man while those things were forbidden to the Hassidic Jews. A coming of age story with romance, rebellion, family and religion playing large parts. I receive ...more
Mar 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Not sure how to feel about this one. Those saying the protagonist's voice is immature have never been a seventeen-year-old girl in an insanely overprotective, superreligious family. I can say for sure that Chanie's thoughts and actions made sense to me, with that background. However, I did not like the ending at all. Did it make sense? Sure. Was it the right ending for our main character? Damned if I know, but I don't think so. That's not to say the book isn't well-written. It definitely is, and ...more
Edward Sullivan
An absorbing story centered on a teen belonging to a Lubavitcher Hasidic sect in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The depiction of this Hasidic community is often fascinating but the narrative suffers from unconvincing plot developments and other contrivances. The racial tensions between the Hasids and their black neighbors also lacks explanation and depth.
Kelly Sierra
Much like I am Forbidden this book touches upon the lives of Hasidic Jews and what it means to live in a world full of non-orthedox Jews. It's a quick short read, and full of questions about a hiddne society that is mixed within our world.

Thank You Edelweiss.

Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Interesting, but I think it tried to combine too many issues/points of conflict -- which makes it probably more like real life but less successful as fiction for me. I found Eishes Chayil's HUSH much more involving as a look at the life of a girl in a Hasidic community. ...more
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cancon
I'm of two minds with this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed reading about a culture I didn't know much about before. On the other hand, I'm not a fan of stories where (view spoiler) so I can't 100% recommend this. ...more
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
A great story, but the writing was rushed and the dialogue was trite. Could have been so much more.
Mar 18, 2014 marked it as to-read
ARC supplied by publisher via NetGalley
May 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books_read_2014, ya
Quick read... I know nothing about the Lubavitch, so it was very interesting in that respect. Plus, it prompted me to read more about the Crown Heights riots.
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a very quick read. Entertaining and interesting.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
To me, the story was OK. The writing convinced me to give the third star.
Missy Taylor
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Review will be posted on on 4/21/14
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked the tension at the heart of this story: the pull of the wider world vs. the values and comforts of the known. I had trouble believing the Juiliard subplot.
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Young adult fiction writer Eva Wiseman was born in Hungary and currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Eva possesses a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Arts degree, and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Manitoba. She has worked as a journalist for the Winnipeg Free Press and the former Winnipeg Tribune, and has taught English Second Language and GED courses to immigrant w ...more

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