I really enjoyed this book. Originally I picked it up because I was curious to read about what it would be like for a young girl to embrace both her heritage as an Indian-American and her religion as a Jew, and I feel that Ms. Freedman did an excellent job showing us how Tara felt in a myriad of different situations involving the mix of the two. I also have to say that the author nailed what being a 12-year-old girl is like; it’s been awhile since I was that age, but two years ago I worked with a group of 6th graders and Tara seemed almost exactly like some of the girls in that group, in a good way.
I also liked the little blossom of romance between Tara and her best friend, Ben-O (Benjamin). It felt like a nice touch, but it wasn’t an overwhelming focus of the book or anything. I am secretly hoping for Ms. Freedman to write a sequel, because I want to see what Tara is like as she grows older!! She was such an interesting protagonist.
It was also interesting how Ms. Freedman managed to weave in serious elements to the story, such as a friend who shoplifts and who has trichotillomania (obsessive hair-pulling). And of course, the worries that Tara has about not knowing whether she believes in God or not, as she prepares for her Bat Mitzvah.
Well done, Ms. Freedman. Well done, indeed. I will definitely be keeping this author on my radar.
Many thanks to Amulet Books via NetGalley for an opportunity to read and review this book.