School Library Journal
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Gr 8 Up-Sarah Green, 16, is one of two Jewish students at her small Pennsylvania high school. A self-described band geek, she is tormented by the popular clique and overburdened by her feeling that her "religion is a conscious decision every day" of her life. When her parents offer to send her to Israel for the summer, she jumps at the chance to assert her independence, reinvent herself in a new place, and live and work on a kibbutz. While her journey to find herself is not without hardship and challenges, and her idealistic view of Israel and kibbutz life is shattered, Sarah survives the summer transformed, with a new sense of Jewish identity, a deeper connection to the land of Israel, increased self-confidence, and a more mature awareness of her own sexuality. The fast-paced, easy-to-read, free-verse narration captures the voice of a typical American teen. Sarah's coming-of-age experience could have happened during any summer camp or work experience, making the book accessible to a general teen audience. Look to Tammar Stein's Light Years (Knopf, 2005) or Pnina Moed Kass's Real Time (Clarion, 2004) for a stronger sense of life in contemporary Israel.-Rachel Kamin, Temple Israel Libraries & Media Center, West Bloomfield, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.