More than this – Patrick Ness

More Than ThisMore Than This by Patrick Ness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blisteringly good, and still has me questioning and debating ‘what happened’. Difficult to say much without ruining it for other readers… as it is one of those books that constantly twists what you think you have worked out as you are reading.
Moving, gritty, disturbing, surprising……loved it.

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My Basmati Bat Mitzvah

My Basmati Bat MitzvahMy Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As Tara hits that cusp of adolescence, she has so much to think about. Big questions…such as who am I and what do I truly believe? As Tara battles with her own perceptions and the prejudices of others, she learns to balance both her Jewish and Indian cultures while asserting her own independence. Her voice is lighthearted and innocent, often seeming bemused by the behaviour of close friends and family as she tries to adapt to and understand their motives.

Tara’s mother is determined to make her wear a ‘pretty’ dress, her best (male) friend has started to blush, look awkward, and keeps avoiding her, her best (female) friend seems to have struck up a friendship with the ‘stuck up’ Sheila Rosenberg, and her rite of passage – her Bat Mitzvah, challenges her loyalties to her mixed cultural background.

Recommended for lower secondary students.

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