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The Boy's Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  180 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Yossi, at seventeen, feels as though his homosexuality makes him less of a Jew. Living as he does in Melbourne’s Orthodox Jewish community, he has a lot to hide. When non-religious rebel Josh turns up at school, Yossi is asked to look after him, and while Yossi educates Josh on the ancient traditions of their race, Josh does some educating of his own. Through their relatio ...more
Paperback, 175 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Sleepers Publishing
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3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  180 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Yossi is seventeen-years-old and lives in Melbourne’s biggest Jewish suburb of Caulfield. He attends Beth Dovid high school and is among their most spiritual and dedicated students. His mother died of bowel cancer when he was very young, and now there’s just Yossi, his father and older sister, Talya – a close family, and Yossi is especially preoccupied with making his father proud of him.

Yossi is also gay, and would give just about anything not to be.

When a new student arrives at Beth Dovid –
Graeme Aitken
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This debut gay themed Australian novel has a great deal to recommend it. Although it’s aimed primarily at young adult readers, older readers will also find it a substantial read. This is primarily due it’s setting in the Melbourne Jewish Orthodox community which provides a fascinating backdrop. Many readers are likely to learn a great deal about the strict cultural traditions and rules Orthodox Jews are supposed to adhere to. When the book opens, teenager Yossi is trying to rid himself of his ga ...more
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a really good read, and although I didn't know what it was about when I started it, it didn't take me long to jump right on board Yossi's story. Nancy Garden's blurb says it all,'The journey of a gay Orthodox Jewish boy towards his own religious, spiritual, and sexual truth - a poignant, courageous, thought-provoking and sweet coming-out story'.
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay, australian, own-copy
This is the story of Yossi, a teenage Jewish guy who happens to be gay, and how he comes to reconcile his religion with his sexuality, along the way coming out to his family and friends, but above staying strong and true to himself.

It is a wonderful story, well written, with a real insight into a young guys thoughts.

I loved it.
Eli Glasman's debut novel is just what the Australian contemporary young adult scene needs. It's diversity in its main character Yossi – Jewish-born and gay - will make it fit perfectly alongside such novels as Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil and The First Third by Will Kostakis (both 2014 CBCA shortlisters by the way). There's no preaching about Judaism or any shoving of Yossi's sexuality down your throat - everything is done respectfully to both communities. Instead of disregarding aspects ...more
Matt John
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Glasman is able to define what growing up as two minorities is like, being both gay and Jewish. There is a definite empathy there as Glasman writes in the first person, chatting to the reader as if they were sitting on the opposite side of the table.
Jun 17, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a really nice, quick read. I've mentally given it a good 3.5 -- the shining feature was definitely Yossi's character, who was one of the most genuinely kind protagonists I've ever read. Reading about Orthodox Judaism and all its traditions was really interesting, too.
Amra Pajalic
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ozauthor
A voice that demands to be heard. This book speaks to all those reconciling sexuality, spirituality, culture, family, and finding the space in between.
Michael Earp
Fantastic read. There needs to be more books like this in the world ;)
Zoe Dattner
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book isn't officially out until July 2014, but it's already getting some rave reviews from people who have advance reading copies. It tells the story of Yossi, a young man growing up in the Jewish Orthodox community of Caulfield who is coming to terms with the fact that he's gay. It's full of heart and humour and is loaded with atmosphere. Which is just about the only way I can explain it. For 200 pages or so you're immersed in the world of Yossi's internal and external worlds, and his depi ...more
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
This wasn't the best book I've ever read, the writing a little amateur and the detail lacking, but it was unique. It offers an interesting perspective, a teenage boy living in a Jewish Orthodox area struggling with his sexuality. I found the religious aspect of the novel fascinating, I really enjoyed learning about the different religious rituals and beliefs in a way I'd never considered before.
Jeremy Poh
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
For a person who do not understand Jew rituals, there is a lot of it in the book. But the author is able to explain it so you do not get lost as a non-jew. This book will be a very encouraging book for young jew who were ever been lost and confused of their sexuality.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eli Glasman needs to write another book!
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
TFIC gay Jewish
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, wndb, lgbtq, aussie
A short, sweet book about a gay Orthodox Jewish boy finding himself within his faith and his community.

cw: homophobia, anti religious sentiment
Sep 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: YA, LGBTQI Youth, Jewish Youth, Non-Jewish Youth, Anyone supportive of Jewish and Gay People
Recommended to Aaron by: Barnes and Noble
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5 stars. Also reviewed on my Youtube channel.

This book tells the story of 17 year old Yossi, who's Orthodox Jewish and struggling to accept that he's gay. Yossi's entire life revolves around religion, and the idea that being his true self would mean giving that up is basically killing him.

The sense of community that comes through the book was fabulous. The book is set in Melbourne, more specifically in Caulfield, and so it's not surprising that Jewish culture and society comes through so stro
Emma L
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I finally got to read this book, after wanting to for such a long time. I had such high expectations of it, and it exceeded all of them. Last night I started reading, and only stopped when my eyes couldn't be forced to stay open any longer. The second I woke up this morning I reached for my phone, opened the Kindle app and kept on reading where I left off last night.
Eli Glasman has written such an important book, and it is one that will stay with me for a very long time. The insight he gives int
I'm glad the #LoveOzYA bingo challenge pushed me to pick this up sooner than later, as I really enjoyed it. It's a relatively short book - 170 pages in length - but it's diverse, well written and I really came to care about Yossi as a character. I did find the ending a little abrupt, but that's probably my only complaint.

I read a lot of contemporary since it's my favourite genre, but sometimes they can start to feel repetitive, lacking the original characters that I crave. That was not the case
Sep 02, 2015 rated it liked it
It's not the perfect novel but I enjoyed it.

The book started with too much info dumping. I ended up not retaining much of the Jewish cultural information that I had look forward to learning about.

The most dramatic scene of the book was very good but could have been brought forward earlier in the story. More of the book should have been devoted to the aftermath instead of how the story concluded, fizzled out.

This is an important book for its target audience. Thank you for writing it.
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
3.5 stars. Randomly saw the title and was interested enough to read the blurb. It was a fast read. The bits about Jewish Law were kind of boring for me (since it was just rehashing stuff I knew) but the story is decent. I imagine this kind of stuff would be more interesting to someone completely new to Orthodox Judaism. My main gripe is that the ending felt a bit rushed. Also, is was a little jolting that the characters swore so much, even the very religious ones. It didn't feel realistic to me. ...more
Lync Lync
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Listed everywhere as being about an Orthodox gay Jew coming to terms with his own sexuality within the context of his religion.
What Eli has to say will help *any* child coming to terms with nonconformist sexuality within any religious society. I strongly recommend this to any LGBQTIA person.
It is also a darn good read. I started it on the train on the way home after buying it. Had it read before I went to bed.
Melissa Riley
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
A wonderful addition to the YA genre. The story follows Yossi and his struggle between his religion and his sexuality. Debut novelist Eli Glasman has done really well with the structure as well as demystifying Jewish culture (for readers like me, who know very little). I would recommend for 15-16 yr olds as there is a little bit if heavy petting.
Laura Hird
Good but!!!!! Fucking bad ending. I wanted more detail into (view spoiler) but overall it was pretty good i finished it in like a day.
Mar 12, 2016 rated it liked it
In this book, Glasman has written a book combining two subjects not normally portrayed and explored together in fiction – certainly this is the first book I’ve read about it, let alone heard about. I particularly appreciated how Glasman wrote about Judiasm and the world of Orthodox Jews, explaining terms and ideas not merely as theological entries but as cohesive parts of the story.
Mark Cherny
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really cool! Gay Jewish boy struggling with religion and sexuality. I identify so strongly.
Also really interesting because it gives you an insider look at a different type of life. Learned so much about orthodox Jews.
I wish it was five times longer, so I could get really absorbed into the story.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it liked it
A bit didactic in the beginning where all of the rites and customs of Orthodox Judaism are explained. But once Glasman moves into the angst of his quandary I found it very authentic and moving.
Michele Barnes
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: p-mccleod
Excellent YA fiction, an insight into the difficulties of a young gay boy trying to reconcile his life with religion. Relevant to many teenagers regardless of which religion they follow.
Kimoya Reads
Oh lord, what can I say this book was absolutely wonderful! It gave me all the feels expected to be felt when reading. Haha.
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Eli Glasman was born in the suburb of Caulfield in Melbourne, Australia.

He studied creative writing at the University of Melbourne, where he completed his Honours degree.

The Boy’s Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew is his first novel.