My Basmati Bat Mitzvah
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Paula J Freedman
- Publish Date: 2015-04-21
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ÂDuring the fall leading up to her bat mitzvah, Tara (Hindi for Âstarâ) Feinstein has a lot more than her Torah portion on her mind. Between Hebrew school and study sessions with the rabbi, there doesnât seem to be enough time to hang out with her best friend Ben-OÂwho might also be her boyfriendÂand her other best friend, Rebecca, whoâs getting a little too cozy with the snotty Sheila Rosenberg. Not to mention working on her robotics project with the class clown Ryan Berger, or figuring out what to do with a priceless heirloom sari that she accidentally ruined. Amid all this drama, Tara considers how to balance her Indian and Jewish identities and what it means to have a bat mitzvah while questioning her faith.
With the cross-cultural charm of Bend It Like Beckham, this delightful debut novel is a classic coming-of-age story and young romance with universal appeal.
Praise for My Basmati Bat Mitzvah
In my opinion, My Basmati Bat Mitzvah shows that everyone is different in their own way and some get the advantage of being culturally diverse. I rate the book 5 stars!
ÂShivani Desai, age 13
The latest spunky heroine of South AsianÂJewish heritage to grace middle-grade fiction, Tara Feinstein, 12, charms readers from the get-go in this strong, funny debut.
ÂKirkus Reviews, starred review
Taraâs inquisitiveness, openness, and determination to chart her own path stand out in this warm story of family, faith and the ways people are unique yet intertwined.
With a conversational and authentic tween voice, Tara invites readers into her world as she explores the larger issues of faith, compassion, and tradition while confronting the awkwardness that is pubertyÂher questions regarding God are poignant and relatable while her opinions on training bras are simply spot-on...
ÂThe Bulletin of The Center for Childrenâs Books
Authors often mention but then shrink from exploring in depth their charactersâ mixed religious heritage; itâs a sensitive subject that demands close scrutiny. Freedman bucks that trend, avoiding didacticism by portraying broader issues through Taraâs personality and unique circumstances. As Tara learns in this skillful exploration, an important source of her special strengthsÂquestioning spirit, empathy and strong ethical compassÂis her mixed heritage.
ÂThe Jewish Daily Forward
This story will have resonance for many children of many faiths at the cusp of religious adulthood.
As she makes her way through these challenges, she learns a great deal about friendship, family, and heritage. Freedman handles the ethnic and religious diversity of Taraâs family and friends with a light touch, but doesnât shrink from exploring some of the complexities of a dual heritage.
ÂSchool Library Journal
Â This bookâs well-drawn characters bring two colorful cultures to vibrant life. The contemporary urban setting, cast with touches of humor and romance, frame mature ideas of peer and self-acceptance in a familiar, lighthearted world. Middle grade girls will readily befriend Tara and pick up new cultural understanding.
ÂLibrary Media Connection