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On Blackberry Hill

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  10 reviews
One daughter. One mother. One summer camp. Twenty years apart.

If only Reena could stay in the city, instead of spending the last summer before high school at her cousin’s Jewish sleepaway camp. From morning prayer to Color War to the social pecking order, she is lost from the start, and her cousin Lila is no ally. While working on her survival skills, Reena begins to fin
Kindle Edition, 311 pages
Published July 18th 2016
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The summer before high school is supposed to be a magical time, but Reena has to leave her beloved city for a Jewish sleepaway camp with her cousin. After her father receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play music in Japan, Reena is shuttled off to the place where her parents met years before. Because her mother died when Reena was just a baby, the chance to walk in her mother's footsteps is the only thing that appealed to Reena about the summer. When new friendships, and a possible roma ...more
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reena, age 13, attends sleep away camp for the first time. It's the same summer camp that her mom, who died when she was a baby, went to. In alternating narratives, we get Reena's contemporary story and her Mom's story, twenty summers earlier when she worked as a lifeguard and met Reena's father. Rachel Mann depicted the Jewish summer camp experience and the relationships formed so accurately - it was really fun to read and felt like a trip down memory lane. I didn't totally buy into the whole a ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, affecting story that stayed with me long after I finished reading it. Though marketed as a young adult novel, the novel's elegant structure and deep meditations on love, loss, loyalty, spirituality, feminism, and the ties that bind us in friendship and in family dynamics (between sisters, between parents and rebellious children, between in-laws, to name only a few) is certain to appeal to adults, whether they've spent any time in a Jewish sleepaway camp (the story's main setting, an ...more
Kat Grossman
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Secrets Revealed

This book is more than just a love story. It's a many sided tale of a young girl seeking to find out what her mother was like, what being Jewish really means, and what it's like to fall in love. In discovering the secrets her aunt has been keeping back she gains a much bigger world view. Intriguing reading.
Jill Madsen
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun book to read - I love summer camp! For Reena, camp provides a chance for her to discover the story behind her father and mother - and get to know her mom even though she passed away when Reena was just a baby.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
For me, the last 25 pages or so redeemed this book, whose subject is the magic of Jewish sleep away camp, and the stories of 2 generations of girls/young women who attended--stories including their camp romances. (I do not think boys would like this book at all).
Til the last 25 pages, I was somewhat bored with daily occurrences (this happened, then that happened, then they did this), and was skeptical of kids at these camps (I'm a veteran myself) "rolling joints" and drinking vodka, as we
Rebecca Rouillard
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
A lovely insight into a world that I am completely unfamiliar with, the American Jewish summer camp, though in some ways it reminded me of the Robin Jones Gunn 'Christy Miller' books I used to read as young teenager. A heartfelt story about families, love, faith and fate.
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful read- especially for those who loved summer camp! Summer camp, coming of age, young adults forming their own vision of Jewish lives ahead......
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Rachel Mann writes fiction, plays, and the occasional rhyming verse. Her debut novel, ON BLACKBERRY HILL, won the National Jewish Book Award for YA in 2016. She lives in NYC with her husband, a puppy, and three daughters.