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It's a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  341 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Includes a special introduction by Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory and author of the #1 bestseller Girling Up!

Get ready to fall in love, experience heartbreak, and discover the true meaning of identity in this poignant collection of short stories about Jewish teens, including entries by David Levithan, Nova Ren Suma, and more!

A Jewish boy falls in love with a fel
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Feb 16, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm so happy and honored to have a story in this collection, about a Modern Orthodox girl named Amalia who's suffering major culture shock at the transition from her insular world during college orientation. But there's a great amount of variety in here, including a story that made me cry like whoa (by Hannah Moskowitz), a story that brought back so many fun memories for me (by Goldy Moldavsky), and a story that makes such great use of social media I didn't even have as a teen (by Katherine Lock ...more
Average Rating - ⭐️⭐️⭐️.67

I’m always looking for anthologies to read because it’s a nice way to discover new authors. When this collection was first announced, I was very excited because it features many authors I follow on social media and enjoy interacting with. Despite not knowing much about Judaism as a religion or culture, I really had a lot of fun reading these stories. They are a wonderful exploration of what being Jewish means, how there are various expressions of the faith a
Adi Alsaid
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Only like 1/12th biased
Alexis  (TheSlothReader)
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
Average rating: 3.6

Overall this collection was really good. The rating would have been much higher if only one or two stories had not been included but otherwise I think its a really strong collection. Its a really awesome anthology for the Jewish members of the YA reader base. I would like to mention that I am not personally Jewish and therefore cannot review these stories on an Own Voices perspective. However, I do think it is worth mentioning that I have Jewish members of my family whom I am
Noa ☾
Jun 06, 2019 marked it as to-read
i'm just finding out about this but yall don't know how important this is to me
Sep 18, 2019 marked it as to-read
I’ve waited for a book like this for years. In all the talks of diverse books, I kept looking to find Jewish representation, especially with new releases. Having scarcely seen any, I went off to my local library to scour the Hebrew shelves, which is when my reviews started focusing more on those. But I’m so glad this exists now.

Support this book and try a taste of It's a Whole Spiel through my Amazon Affiliate link:

description description description description
This review and more can be found on my blog.
Publication Date September 17th 2019
Thank you to NetGalley, the authors, and the publisher for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I’m not Jewish. Each of these short stories could have told me people who are Jewish drink coffee because it brings them closer to God or some such equally strange nonsense and I would have believed it. Thankfully the authors are all Jewish and probably wouldn’t be too excited about misrepresenting Jewish people.
It’s a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other J
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-cp-wrote-this
Oh this was so so so good. And so needed. As someone who went to Jewish day school and was a part of youth group etc I WISH this anthology existed for me as a teen. As a Jewish adult I loved it so much too. Thank you Katherine and Laura!!!!!
Melanie (bookswritinghappiness)
I received a digital ARC of this book through Netgalley thanks to Random House Children’s Knopf Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.

When I first found out about this anthology on Twitter (I follow both Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman along with a few of the authors that contributed to this book) I almost burst into tears from happiness. In all of the books I’ve read throughout my life, I’ve found very little Jewish representation, and the same can be said for TV shows, m
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
An anthology brimming with love and acceptance, It's a Whole Spiel is an affirming and wholesome #ownvoices anthology about being Jewish.

- Contains 12 stories about 12 very different Jewish teens, their Jewish identities, and the diverse ways that they embody 'being Jewish'.
- There are a fantastic range of stories - some romantic, some a little sad, some that will make you feel fuzzy, and some that will make you feel less alone in the world. All of the stories are contemporary, but I loved how
Shāfiya Mū
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
It's a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories edited by Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman is an #OwnVoices YA anthology of short stories that explore many themes and experiences relating to Jewish identities.

I received an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of this book last summer, when I first read it, and then I became too sick to write up a review then. I’m super sad about that because I adored this anthology so much! So, this year, I wanted to make sure to re-read it and give it
mad mags
I don't love every story - but the ones I love, I love HARD.

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for mental health issues, including eating disorders and social anxiety; bullying; and discussions of homophobia.)

I’ll probably never know what a space station careening through the atmosphere looks like, because I wasn’t looking up anymore. I was looking at him and smiling, and he was smiling back at me, and his braces were gleaming like starlight,
(7.6/10) - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

It's not often that I read an anthology that scrapes together more than three stars, because there's always stories I dislike, but somehow It's a Whole Spiel managed four!

This collection of stories by and for members of the Jewish community did a great job of illustrating what it's like to grow up more Jew-ish than *JEWISH*, and while I could've done with a little more diversity in ethnicities than what we got, I want to praise it for that.

I think there's still a lot of misconcept
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book from Netgally in exchange for an honest review

I did end up giving a higher rating than I thought I would to this book, so I’m not going to jump in right away about how this didn’t really live up to expectations. Because some stories were really good!! But that’s the thing about an anthology, it’s so hard to give a concrete review because there are so many stories of different ratings included in the complete book. My final rating was the average of my separate ratings for al
Dec 17, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: anticipated
About time! I've been waiting for a Jewish YA anthology, or just a Jewish anthology in particular. Not gonna lie though, I'm a little bitter that we have to wait until 2019 to get it.
Victoria Robinson
Nov 17, 2018 marked it as to-read
Sounds Jewish I'm in
Hanna Fogel
LOVED this book! I gobbled up every story. So many different aspects of the Jewish experience, yet all recognizable too. 💙 ✡️
It's hard for me to pin a number of stars on It's a Whole Spiel because I had very different reactions to different stories in the anthology, and they represent different genres, voices, themes, and so on. Some of them felt more "complete in themselves" than others, too.

The thing that I do like, and which I think makes is a strong volume, is that it's very diverse--not in the "diversity equals people who look different and love differently but who all represent people who have the exact same val
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
So good! An anthology with stories that are both fun and important with some cute romances as well. My favorites were Indoor Kids (two boys working as counselors at a summer camp fall in love, also lots about astronomy and space) Two Truths and an Oy (Modern Orthodox girl attends college orientation and tries to find her place), Aftershocks (not very religious girl worried about her first dinner with the religious family of her new boyfriend, also reminded me I need to read Solomon’s latest book ...more
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads
I was beyond excited to hear the world was getting a YA collection about what it's like to grow up Jewish. From explorations of identity to first loves, this anthology -- featuring short stories from Jewish young adult authors -- runs the gamut from comedy, to romance, religion and secularism, and even the slightly paranormal, representing a wide range of Jewish experiences. Jewish diversity in literature FTW!
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

An anthology coming from two of my favorite authors? Yes. Please! Not to mention the contributor list is off the scales with authors I love in It's a Whole Spiel and all centered around different stories revolving around people's Jewish identity. The wonderful thing about good anthologies, like It's a Whole Spiel is the capacity to see your favorite authors in a new light. And to disc
Ceillie Simkiss
A really great short story collection with a full review to come!
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Okay so

Honestly it was kinda meh and the stories were annoying the type of bland contemporary fiction that’s like ooh I’m relevant cause pop culture and LGBTQ but like
I swear I’m not homophobic but why are there more gay people than frum people in here I just wanna feel represented as an Orthodox Jew😭

Well time to tell my queer friends about this then I guess XD LOKI YOU WANNA READ THIS nah you’d probably wanna read those Stucky fics that kid in here probably write though

Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Aftershocks was definitely my favorite!
Warnings: eating disorder, anxiety from near-death experience,

Rep: OCD, queer rep (gay and bi rep, non-binary rep)

It's a Whole Spiel is a nice collection of contemporary OwnVoices YA stories, all with Jewish protagonists. The stories have varied themes - some are casually diverse, with them being coming-of-age stories, rom-coms or just slice-of-life style stories, or some have specific Jewish experiences, like kids who aren't religious wondering about their identity, or kids who have had a reli
Feb 15, 2020 added it
It's a whole Spiel has an important message about finding and loving yourself just the way you are.
I enjoyed most of the stories and was really happy to learn more about the Jewish religion, its traditions and holidays. I've decided to only mention a few stories because otherwise my review would be way too long!

He Who Revives the Dead by Elie Lichtschein was definitely my favourite one. It is about fear, being brave and finding the right people. I loved how inspirational and emotional the story
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Any quotes are from the advanced copy.

It's a Whole Spiel is one of the best depictions of the diverse range of the Jewish experience I've ever seen. I loved the anthology so much. Each story was its own little world, and they all left me both wanting more and satisfied that I knew enough to be content.

The sheer amount of LGBTQA+ representation made me so happy. Lines like, "'I'm not Jewish enough for the Jewish kids, too reli
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I've decided not to rate this because it's so hard for me to rate anthologies, because as a whole reading experience, it's hard for me to feel more enthusiastic than "liked" but this is SUCH a good anthology, and I would feel bad three starring because it totes deserves more from an objective POV. Usually in an anthology there are several stories that make me side-eye, but these are all quality, even if they're not all necessarily my sort of stories (and let's be real that I'm not the intended a ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, religion
*Review is of an advanced reader copy

With a foreword by Mayim Bialik this is a fun collection of short stories written by Jewish authors. Each story focuses on a Jewish teen or young adult dealing with not only their religious identity but also very common and thus relatable, life experiences. Of course I preferred some of the stories to others but, overall, I enjoyed the mix of stories and experiences. Although not all of the protagonists held deep religious convictions, one thing that struck m
This one is a 3.5 for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading these short stories, some seemingly drawn from personal experiences and others from the authors' imaginations. The focus in the collection is Jewish identity as explored and experienced by various teens. Because there are 14 different stories, readers are able to be reminded that while there are many commonalities within the Jewish community, there are also many differences. Teens will feel enlightened, entertained, and empowered through ...more
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Katherine Locke lives and writes in a small town outside Philadelphia, where she’s ruled by her feline overlords and her addiction to chai lattes. She writes about that which she cannot do: ballet, magic, and time travel. She secretly believes all stories are fairytales in disguise. Her YA debut, THE GIRL WITH THE RED BALLOON, arrives September 2017 from Albert Whitman & Comapny. ...more

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