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In the Neighborhood of True

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  921 ratings  ·  318 reviews
A powerful story of love, identity, and the price of fitting in or speaking out.

After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eag
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow, this book. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Ruth Robb and her family move from New York City to Atlanta in 1958. Her father has recently passed away, which triggered the move. Ruth’s family is Jewish, and one of the first things she learns in Atlanta is that she must choose between being Jewish and being popular.

Ruth desperately wants to fit in like any teen would, and she chooses to hide her religion from her new group of friends. She has a crush on Davis and winds up with him at the club that is all-white a
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
”When hatred shows its face you need to make a little ruckus. And you dear Ruthie, you made a very important little ruckus.”

Susan Kaplan Carlton has written a compelling story that is loosely based on the 1958 Atlanta temple bombing. My mom was a northerner who moved to the south in the 1950s. I remember her telling me stories of colored water fountains and standing up for Land of Dixie, of debutante balls and sweet tea. It always seems so different from my own upbringing in the melting pot
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

Is this an important topic? Absolutely! Does this book deserve to be read by loads of people? Yes, yes, yes. Did it work for me? Not in the slightest.

This feels like one of those "it's not you, it's me!" moments ('you' being the book, and 'me' being, well... me), but the writing style doesn't work for me at all. I also immediately had some huge personal issues with the depictions of characters in this book, and the whole thing just... sigh. It's not for me, fam. I definitely hope others will
Susan's Reviews
Jun 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Ruth Robb is “hiding in plain sight” in the world of debutantes, sweet tea and cotillions. She desperately wants to fit in with the new crowd, so she conveniently omits to reveal her Jewish faith and origins. Ruthie’s mother was once a leader in the society she abandoned years ago when she moved up north, married Ruthie’s father and converted to her husband’s faith.
Ruthie shelters behind her mother’s and grandmother’s earlier conquests of polite southern society, guiltily concealing the truth o
alana ♡

Seriously, this was so good and such an important read. It's scary and sad to think that a book set in 1958 can still tie so heavily into today's society by discussing topics such as antisemitism and racism, but here we are. Now, I can't speak from experience, but I do appreciate books that help put these tough topics into a better perspective for me and that's exactly what this did. I thought the author did an excellent job of talking about Ruth h
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Ruth Robb is a teenager hiding a big secret from her friends. She recently moved to Atlanta from New York City where she was raised in a Jewish home. After her father's death, her mom decided to move them back near her family. Neither of them has told anyone about their religious beliefs because of the conservative nature of 1950s Georgia.

Ruth current social life pushes her toward debutante training, teas, and various social clubs. At the same time, she enjoys visits to her temple with her moth
Vicky Again
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars

Content Warnings: (view spoiler)

In the Neighborhood of True surprised me in a lot of ways.

There’s not a lot of historical fiction with Jewish protagonists that’s not about the Holocaust, but Susan Kaplan Carlton writes a novel set in 1958 about a Jewish girl who moves from New York City to Atlanta and hides her religion in order to fit in.

It’s a very quiet and understat
Amy Imogene Reads
4.5 stars

A Jewish girl finds her own voice in a Christian Southern community in the late 1950s. A meaningful look at what it means to accept your own identity, and an even more meaningful reflection on racism, bigotry, and the lessons from the past that are still relevant today.

Writing: ★★★★
Plot/Pacing: ★★★★★
Messages: ★★★★★

In the Neighborhood of True is a novel that I think sits at the table with some of the many YA novels on racial discrimination in the 1950s South. The messaging is slightly d
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

In the neighbourhood of True is a beautifully written story of a young girl in the 1950's who has moved to live in her grandmothers guest house with her mother and sister after the death of her father who was Jewish.
Ruth and her sister are also Jewish and their mother converted to being Jewish after marrying their father.

This book is a fantastic tale of living a double life tr
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-releases
Wow, this was such a pleasant surprise, and so timely. I picked up an ARC of this one at ALAMW after seeing that it was historical fiction set in Atlanta in the 1950’s, and this did not disappoint. As others have said, it was so nice to read historical fiction with a Jewish main character (#ownvoices rep) that is not set during the Holocaust.

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF TRUE deals with themes that are, unfortunately, all too timely. I originally picked this up because of the setting, and as a lifelon
Jade Melody
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to Algonquin Books for reaching out to me to participate in this Book Tour and for providing me with a physical copy of the paperback arc!

This was an incredible story. The premise of the story is surrounded by the hate against people that are not white, are not Christians, are not the "ideal Southern"person/family.

After Ruth's father dies, her and her family move from non-restrictive and flexible, New York City, to old-beliefs, upheld tradition
Rachel Solomon
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Official blurb: "Susan Kaplan Carlton's snapshot of 1958 Atlanta is both exquisite and harrowing – and, tragically, it feels all too timely. It's been a while since I felt so immersed in a piece of historical fiction, and I know I'll hold Ruth's story in my heart for a long time." ...more
3.5 out of 5 Stars!

Thank you so much to Algonquin Books for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review.


"In the neighborhood of true...that's what we say when something's close enough."

Set in the late 1950s, this historical ownvoice novel centers on Ruth Robb, a 16-year-old girl who's desperately trying to make sense of the world around her. Recently uprooted from the life she knew, Ruth quickly finds herself immersed into the pastel world of debutante balls, etiq
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own, diverse
In hindsight, this book wasn’t exceptional and nearly everything I have to say about it is critical. It’s got a gorgeous cover and it’s fairly easy to read an enjoyable, but with such a distressing topic at its forefront it shouldn’t feel like more of a ‘fun and fluffy contemporary’ than an important historical narrative. Full review to come-once I stop procrastinating, that is-because I have some important things to say about this one.
Vanessa Teixeira
DNF at 13%
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-arcs
My thoughts are so conflicting on this book. It’d probably be best to break it up into positives and negatives so that my thoughts seem to have a cohesive result.

- The historical storyline of this book is one that needs to be told. Of course I had heard of lynchings and the racism in the United States during the Civil Rights era, but I had no idea that Jews were also discriminated against and hated so harshly.
- Setting. I adored the way the setting was described and how all the traditi
You can also read this review on my blog illbefinealonereads.

A huge thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for the chance to be a part of this blog tour.

When it comes Historical Fiction books it’s always a hit or miss with me, never in the middle. It’s a genre I don’t read too often and I’m careful with picking up since misses happen more often than hits. But every once in a while a book like In the Neighborhood of True comes along and changes my mind. Because the thing that this book does best is th
♠ Tabi⁷₈⁷ ♠
Mar 16, 2019 marked it as to-read
hi I just want to wallpaper my room with this cover okay it's a very soft aesthetic that I want to be surrounded with always ...more
Jan Rice
The premise of this book is a good one: a Jewish girl moves down from New York to live with her Christian grandparents in a swanky area of Atlanta. She wants to fit in. So she keeps quiet about being a Jew. The year is 1958.

Cute title and captures the essence of what the book aims to say.

The problem is that it's not Atlanta in the late 1950s. It's not the South. It's a never-never land of the author's imagining and stereotyping -- a sort of Valley of the Dolls with "southern comfort" instead of
Following her father's death, Ruth Robb and her younger sister Nattie have relocated from New York City to their mother's native Atlanta. It's culture shock for sure, but Ruth quickly finds herself pulled into the pre-debutante "Tea and Etiquette" club for high school juniors (where she is embraced as a legacy, as both her mother and grandmother were Magnolia Queens), and dating the cutest boy in school. There's one problem, though. The year is 1958. Anti-Semitism runs just as rampant through
Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, blog-tour, ya
I am in so much of of how an author could write a story that is both a fun and sweet coming of age tale of a teenage girl (is there anything more complicated than being a teenager?!), but also simultaneously tackle complicated and complex subjects that make you think and feel and react.

It's the 1950's in NYC and Ruth Robb's father has just died. Her mother whisks her and her sister away from the city they call home, to what feels like another world. 1950's Atlanta to live with her grandparents.
Cassie’s Reviews
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book really hit me hard! What really shocked me was that that it is set in the 1950’s but honestly it rings true for some events that are currently taking place now. When Ruth’s father passes away her mother packs her and her sister up and moves them to New York to Atlanta. Ruth is amazed with the debutante culture she desperately wants to fit in, so she keeps the fact she’s Jewish a secret. Ruth’s mother wants her to stay close to her religion so has her attend temple. While at one of the ...more
Set in 1950s Atlanta, this story could, unfortunately, be set today and still be as resonant. When Ruth's father dies, she, her sister, and her mother move from New York City to her mother's former home of Atlanta. Ruth finds herself fascinated with debutante culture and strives to fit in -- and in doing so, she hides the fact she is Jewish. Keeping this little lie tucked away becomes more and more challenging, though, as her mother insists she attends Temple (her mother was not Jewish but her f ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review was first posted on my blog In Between Book Pages. ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

61 years - that is the amount of time in between 2019 and 1958. But even with six decades separating then and now the events of 1958 still resonate, ripple down our today.

I don't know what that says about us as human beings, about our ineptitude and willful ignorance, repeating all our past mistakes over and over again.

Loosely inspired by the October 1958 bombing of the H
In the Neighborhood of True is a captivating novel based on the 1958 bombing of Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple. As Atlanta’s first official Jewish institution The Temple not only served as a beacon within the Jewish community, but under the leadership of Rabbi Jacob Rothschild it also was a center for social justice and the burgeoning civil rights movement.

Carlton manages to capture this fraughtful time through the eyes of a Jewish girl coming of age in the wake of her father’s death. Rut
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
3.5 Stars

This is such a necessary and great story about identity, history, and accountability. In the Neighborhood of Truth follows Ruth Robb, New York transplant as she navigates the racially and anti semitic environment of her new home in min-1905s Atlanta. I immediately liked Ruth. Even though she’s unsure of how much of her identity she wants to reveal, she is confident in herself. And her love of all things fashion and beauty related. I also really loved the family dynamic in the story. The
I'm too pressed for time to write a review right now but I really hope I get off my lazy butt and do it because I liked this a lot and it feels so incredibly relevant, more so even than when the author actually wrote it, because there are so many shades of the Pittsburgh shooting here in the sense of the institution having social justice goals being central to its being targeted. More later, but put it on your TBR now. (Though heads-up for a gay slur and obviously racism and anti-Semitism. Negro ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
First of all, thanks to NetGalley and Brittani from Algonquin Books for sending me an eARC in exchange for a honest review.
You have to know English isn’t my first language, so feel free to correct me if I make some mistakes while writing this review.

Real rating: 3,75 stars.

Do you remember Hart of Dixie? That sunny and humid Alabama where our main character - portrayed by Rachel Bilson - moves into from New York? And suddenly there are young girls all around her worried about their debutant ball
- ̗̀ DANY  ̖́- (danyreads)
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads, arc
. : ☾⋆ — 4 ★


ARC provided from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (thank you Algonquin Young Readers!!)

trigger warnings for antisemitism, racism, terrorist behavior. somebody explain to me how this book is set in 1958 when everything that happened in it could’ve happened in 2019 and it would still be relevant?? 1958 AND 2019 ARE 60 YEARS APART. this is such a heartbreaking and disappointing thought and I can’t believe
Samantha (WLABB)
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, ya, arcs, diverse
Ruth felt like a fish out of water, when her family relocated from New York to Atlanta following her father's death. She was immediately caught up in all the fanfare surrounding the pre-debutant world, but she quickly realized, that in order to keep her place in that world, she would need to hide a part of herself.

This book left me with a heavy heart. The story is set in the past, in 1958, yet many people still experience similar things today. I did enjoy reading about this through a historical
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