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Nora Raleigh Baskin
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The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah

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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  199 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Caroline’s mom is Jewish, her dad isn’t, and Caroline has never really thought of herself as any religion. But when her nana dies and leaves Caroline a Star of David necklace, Caroline begins to wonder about her heritage. If she starts going to synagogue, won’t that upset her dad? Should she have a Bat Mitzvah like her best friend, Rachel? Does Caroline want to be Jewish? ...more
Kindle Edition, 144 pages
Published (first published March 25th 2008)
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Elyssa Rubin
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah" by Norah Raleigh Baskin, is about a 12 year old girl, Caroline, who is just discovering a part of her life she never even knew before. After receiving a star of David necklace from her grandmother, who recently passed away, she begins to embrace her Jewish identity. While her best friend Rachel is having her Bat Mitzvah, they are both discovering what it means to be Jewish.
Kit
Jun 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the blurbs called this a modern Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, but other than having a main character who's entering puberty and uncertain about her religious identity, there's not much that the two have in common. Baskin's verision of twelve-going-on-thirteen doesn't have the news flashes that made Are You There, God? required reading for my generation so that we could find out everything the adults weren't telling us about feminine hygeine. (Baskin mentions bras, but not periods ...more
Teresa
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This wonderful book begins with a quote, in Yiddish: "If I try to be like him, who will be like me?" How do we know who we are? Our family is not Jewish, but I think that many tweens and teens (and adults!) struggle with their religious and cultural identity: What do I really believe? What will people think of me? Why is my family the way it is? Family history shapes so much of who we are and who we will be, often without our knowing it. As Caroline remembers her grandmother, and learns more abo ...more
Mimi
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: older-children
The main character in this book, Caroline, is twelve, going on thirteen, and she is going through a lot of changes in her life. Her grandmother, to whom she was very close, has passed away. Her grandmother, Nana, left her a necklace with a Jewish Star of David on it. Meanwhile, her best friend, Rachel, is getting ready to have her bat mitzvah. Caroline says that she is half Christian/half Jew, but it seems, to me, as though she has just been raised American with no religion. She starts to wonder ...more
Shari
Caroline grows to accept her Jewish identity in the midst of middle school angst.
Priscilla Herrington
Nora Raleigh Baskin has written a really useful Young Adult novel, The Truth about My Bat Mitzvah. It is a coming of age story that many may relate to - boys as well as girls, adults as well as teens and preteens, and anyone who has ever tried to sort out which aspects of a mixed heritage make one - oneself.

Caroline's Mom is Jewish, her Dad is not, and the family does not seem to practice any religion. But Carline's best friend is planning her Bat Mitzvah, and Caroline sort of wishes she could h
...more
Peyton M
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you know what your religion is and what it means? The book I read was The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah. The book was good and explain the Jewish religion very well. The book takes place after Carolin's grandmother passed away. Caroline was very close to her grandmother and everything she did reminded her of her grandmother. Knowing where you came from is a big part you are going to want to know when you get older.
The book was very good. I liked it and how it was laid out. If someone is going
...more
Emma705


I think Caroline's Grandma's death led to her finding her true religion! For example, after her grandma died she's got the necklace and she wore it almost everyday. She also started to want a Bat Mitzvah for herself!

A lot of times, people don't know their religion or they are atheist. It all affects your lifestyle. People are judged by their religion too! Like people used to make fun of religious jews even though they knew I was jewish too!

Caroline also was so sensitive with religion. She alway
...more
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is about Caroline, a twelve-year-old girl. Her mother is Jewish but her father isn't, and she has been brought up without any firm religious direction one way or the other.

Her grandmother dies and leaves her a necklace with the Star of David on it, and from that point on in the story she starts to get more interested in her Jewish heritage, although much of that is because her best friend is also Jewish and is having her Bat Mitzvah.

The book does make some reference to prejudicial ste
...more
Clara P
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a girl. Her mom is Jewish and her dad is not Jewish. She dose not know what to believe in her grandma was Jewish but then she died. It troubled the little girl that she would never see her grandmother again. I think that Caroline changed the most. I think that because she did not believe in every thing before her grandmother died. After her grandmother died she started thinking about what she wanted to believe in. Carolines friend was Jewish and she about to have her Bat Mitzv ...more
Kristy
Sep 15, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this one because of the mixed reviews it got in different journals. Caroline Weeks is Jewish by birth, but not as far as her beliefs. When her grandmother dies, Caroline starts thinking more about "being Jewish" but not because of the recent death. Her grandmother left her a star of David necklace. Baskin doesn't go deeper than religious symbols to talk about what it really means to have faith and believe. Sadly, when Caroline's best friend has her bat mitzvah, Caroline negates ...more
Paige Y.
When I picked up this book, I thought it would be about a twelve-year old girl trying to decide whether or not she wanted to have a Bat Mitzvah. It was more about a young girl who was deeply grieving over her grandmother's death. Caroline's mother is Jewish and her father is Christian and Caroline doesn't know what she is. Besides a token celebration of Hanukkah and Christmas, she has grown up religious at all. When her grandfather gives her the Star of David necklace that belonged to her grandm ...more
Andrea
Mar 12, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
3.5 stars

This was a sweet little book. Caroline is sad when her grandmother dies and she receives a Star of David necklace from her. Slowly she begins to explore her Jewish identity as her best friend prepares for her bat mitzvah. She begins to understand the grown-up relationships around her are not as simple as she assumed. She wonders if she has the right to become bat mitzvah because her family is lax about keeping the customs and religious days and her father is not Jewish. But then, with t
...more
Talia
Caroline’s grandmother has just died, and when she is given her grandmother’s Star of David, she begins to ponder her heritage. Her mother is Jewish, but Caroline has been raised as a “lax Jew” for most of her life. Soon Caroline is wondering about who she is, and what impact her religious decisions will have on the rest of her family.

Like another reviewer said, this book is not about Bat Mitzvahs, as the title implies, but about a girl’s self-discovery and finding out about her heritage. While
...more
Jane
May 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some reviewers wanted this book to have more specific information and detail about Judaism and Jewish culture. This would have been wonderful, but I can't fault the author for handling the story the way she did. Unfortunately it's very hard to have a book about an ethnic or religious minority group published if it doesn't work very hard to present itself as something that non-group members will be able to easily relate to. Caroline wonders what the phrase "too Jewish" means. This is something ch ...more
Aili
Sep 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I have never read a book compared to "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" that wasn't an insult to Judy Blume. This book is about a jewish girl and that's where the similarity ends. "Truth" is a formulaic, predictable book that does have some thought-provoking faith-based ideas in it. However, it is too little and too generic to really be powerful. It has no cultural context to redeem it either. It is appropriate for the age group and may bring some good questions to the pre-teen mind: who yo ...more
Greengirl
I loved this book! It was very religious, but that doesn't mean you have to be religious or that certain religion to read this book.

Caroline has always had trouble deciding whether she is Christian or Jewish, but when her extremely Jewish Grandmother passes away and leaves her her Star of David necklace she is determined to decide. There are many ups and downs in this book and not everything has a happy ending. Even with that though, this book was full of lessons and it really gave me a new vi
...more
Lisa
May 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me a lot of "Are You There God? It's me Margaret". The story begins as Caroline loses her grandmother and inherits her Star of David necklace. Meanwhile her best friend is planning a Bat Mitzvah party. Caroline deals with the loss of her grandmother and her own nagging questions about the religion her parents never practice. Trying not to hurt the feelings of her Christian father and Jewish mother both of whom have an ambiguous relationship with organized religion Caroline nav ...more
Lana Jackson
Thirteen-year-old Caroline, daughter of a Jewish mom and a non-Jewish dad, takes more interest in her Jewish heritage after the death of her grandmother. While grappling with identiy issues, Caroline helps her best friend plan her Bat Mitzvah and comes to terms with who she wants to be.

I enjoyed the character growth of Caroline, the way she expressed herself, and her age-appropriate emotions.
Laurie
A really nice story about a twelve-year-old girl, raised without religion, beginning to wrestle with questions of faith as she faces her Jewish grandmother's death and her best friend's impending bat mitzvah. Great pick for older elementary/middle school readers; could be a good follow up to Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret (though some readers would be disappointed in the lack of discussion around periods, in this book).
Tessa
Oct 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book will find many comparisons to the classic Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret? The story is does not delve too deeply into questions about faith, but it does offer a nice portrait of a young girl trying to determine what it means to her to be Jewish. It is a good title for children who have parents of different religions and for kids who are looking for a protagonist who is trying to decide who she really wants to be in life.
Gabrielle
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book.
Caroline is a girl with a Jewish mother and a Christian father who is trying to decide which religion to choose.
When her Jewish Nana dies, Caroline is lead to discover many ideas and stories of the struggle of her Nana's Jewish family.

This is a great book for people of all religions and ages, but especially pre-teen and teen girls.

This book is clearly able to capture the feelings, thoughts, and struggles of a young girl. It's very well-written.
Megan
Oct 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caroline receives her grandmother's Star of David necklace from her grandfather after her grandmother dies. She's not sure if she wants to wear it since her mother is Jewish but her father isn't. She doesn't want to offend either parent. Her best friend is about to have a bat mitzvah, and Caroline starts to wonder if she should have one too. A sensitive treatment of a girl's search for her religious identity.
Jennifer
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book but read it because I was hoping to learn more about the Jewish culture as I have a Jewish child in my classroom. I learned more about the culture from the glossary than I did the entire story. The story was cute but didn't explore the Jewsih religion. I found it to be a cute story of friendship between Caroline and Rachel and I liked how there was a love interest in a male character in this story.
Madison
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can connect to the book because Caroline's grandma died and I remember when my dog died and I felt almost the same way as her. Also, I can connect to Caroline because her brother Sammy had to have surgery she was very scared, and my sister had to have surgery and I felt the same way as Caroline.
meg
Aug 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-novels
i read this because one of my voracious readers wanted to know my opinion before she dug in. meanwhile she's reading another one and we're gonna swap opinions next time she's in. this is a total three-and-a-halfer; a thoughtful read with a winning protagonist. as a half-jewish girl herself, i think she'll be into this, so i'm definitely recommending.
Kris
Oct 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookreviewcenter
Recommended for gr. 5-9. A young girl becomes interested in her Jewish heritage, although her father is Christian and her mother does not practice Jewish traditions. In the process, she becomes close to older relatives and discovers their history, and finds out about true friendship. A very enjoyable book, Caroline's voice rings true and her family seems real.
Kylie Buzzard
I really liked this book. I think that it could have had a better ending because it didn't have anything about Caroline's Bat Mitzvah. One thing that I didn't like is all the weird jewish words it used. I loved the stories that the characters told to Caroline. I just over all really liked this book.
AnnaBnana
Feb 11, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Dubbed as the next, "Are you there God?" It's not. The book is super slim and I didn't get through it. I just wasn't into the story at all. I suppose for tweens who can identify with religious exploration or questions about their heritage it might be good, but I just couldn't get hooked.
Kathy
Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Judy Blume did this a lot better in Are you there, God? It's Me, Margaret. As a product of an inter-faith marriage, this subject generally resonates with me, but this book was just skated along the surface with no real crisis or self-examination.
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The Truth About my Bat Mitzvah 1 1 May 14, 2014 11:55AM  
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I am seriously an open book. I've been writing semi-autiobiographical fiction since I was in 6th grade (1972) then, in 2001, Little, Brown published my first middle grade novel, about my life in 6th grade! titled "What Every Girl (except me) Knows." Sixteen years and thirteen books later, that still, pretty much sums things up.
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