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It's a Whole Spiel

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  52 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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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  66 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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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 and no one o
Adi Alsaid
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Only like 1/12th biased
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Jewish authors I know of contributing to this: Katherine Locke, Laura Silverman, David Levithan, Nova Ren Suma, and Dahlia Adler. 2019 is preemptively saved.
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
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
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
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.
Hanna Fogel
LOVED this book! I gobbled up every story. So many different aspects of the Jewish experience, yet all recognizable too. 💙 ✡ ...more
Kayla (booksandbloomies)
*Before I jump in, I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a physical ARC. This has meant the world to me and being able to review this book and get my hands on a copy before the world gets to see it has meant the world to me. And it has in no way impacted my thoughts or opinions on the fact that I have received an ARC. All opinions are my own. I am also quoting from the ARC, so these are all subject to change.*
These fourteen stories have been the first t
Other Rachel
Reading this is like eating fresh challah smothered in honey.

It deserves all the love and attention because of how rare it is to see my religion portrayed in fiction. More importantly, portrayed in its various forms. No matter the level of observance each story had and how they identified themselves, I truly felt connected.
Victoria Robinson
Nov 17, 2018 marked it as to-read
Sounds Jewish I'm in
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
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a netgalley copy in exchange for an honest review.

I never realized how great it feels to read an own voices book. I love the feeling of “getting it”, of understanding that my experiences as a Jewish person is shared by others. That there are universal things we as Jews experience and feel.

I loved this collection of stories and related to many of them. The feelings and questions that each of these young Jewish characters have in the stories are all ones I’ve experienced as I was grow
Ceillie Simkiss
A really great short story collection with a full review to come!
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full review to come closer to publication!
Yon Nyan (BiblioNyan)
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This was so charming and delightful. Full review to come!
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
Sarah Perchikoff
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been waiting for this anthology for at least a couple of months. I saw it announced on Twitter and was immediately soooo excited. An anthology filled with Jewish stories by a bunch of Jewish authors? OMG, my younger self would have killed for a book like this, but I'm more than happy to read it now. It also doesn't hurt that the title, It's a Whole Spiel, is perfection. As soon as I heard it, it brought up so many memories (mainly all the Yiddish that I grew up with) that I knew this book w ...more
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
*I received a copy of this from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

I've been looking forward to this book since it was announced. Anthologies aren't always my thing, but I'm always looking for Jewish books. I don't find a lot of non-WWII Jewish stories and so I was so excited about this.

And it did deliver on the Jewishness. In all of it's forms. Just like in real life there are so many ways to be Jewish and I loved seeing that in the stories. T

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,
ive been seeing so many anthologies that are coming out and i. am. here. for. it.
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
Lindsay Montague
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-releases
Coming from authors like Dahlia Adler, Rachel Lynn Solomon, and Hannah Moskowitz, this anthology of short stories highlights highlights the lives of Jewish teens and their relationship with Judaism. I grew up in a very Jewish neighborhood, where all of my friends were Jewish, so I feel a kind of kinship and connection to the culture. By taking similar narratives, practices, and holidays, these authors produce some beautiful and unique, personal short stories.

"Indoor kids" by Alex London
This was
Emme Huffman
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Forward, Mayim Bialik: This sets up the rest of the collection well.

Indoor Kids, Alex London: This was so sweet, and every element of the story worked well together. I loved the romance and the relationship with the campers. 5/5

Two Truths and an Oy, Dahlia Adler: This story looks at what happens to faith when someone leaves home and the tension between fitting in and living your beliefs. The main character was awkward and charming, and I loved this! 5/5

The Hold, David Levithan: This was a beauti
This was an overall low-scoring anthology for me. Some of the writing just didn't click with me, and others had stories I just wasn't wow-ed by. I was also disappointed by the samey-ness of the stories and thought the collection could have used some more geographic and racial diversity. However, I'm goy and therefore not the target demographic for this anthology-- I hope the representation found here is relatable to Jewish teens!

Indoor Kids by Alex London ★★★☆☆ (3.5)
Additional rep: gay, mlm
Xan West
Content Warnings (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
That. Was. Excruciating.

(And I mean that in the best possible way.)

If (like me) you're prone to second-hand embarrassment or stress, you might need to read It's a Whole Spiel with a blanket pulled over your head--which is a lot to say about a book with no horror, no action, and no smut. 100% of the intensity comes from the unbridled, unfiltered teenage emotion wafting off the page in a cloud of hormones. I know that might sound like a drag, but I think that's high praise for young adult! It's es
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Y'all, settle in. I got to review my most anticipated release of the whole entire year. Let me tell you how it went.

It's a Whole Spiel is a set of Jewish stories told by diversely Jewish authors. You'll find tales from David Leviathin, Nova Ren Suma, and so many more. Each story takes an in-depth look at what it means to be Jewish; From love at summer camp to a whole plate of spilled latkes, this anthology gives a voice to Jewish people of all walks of life.

Guys, I really loved this book. As mos
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
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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.