Chloe Leiber­man (Some­times Wong)

Car­rie Rosten
  • Review
By – July 16, 2012
Chloe is a half Jew­ish, half Chi­nese Cal­i­for­nia teenag­er with a fash­ion obses­sion. The sto­ry of her strug­gle to define her­self is fair­ly super­fi­cial, but also enjoy­ably hip and con­tem­po­rary. Her iden­ti­ty cri­sis is more due to her quirky per­son­al­i­ty than her mixed her­itage, which is most­ly reflect­ed through use of Yid­dish and Chi­nese vocab­u­lary. This is enter­tain­ing, but eth­nic­i­ty is not tru­ly impor­tant to Chloe’s char­ac­ter or to the sto­ry line. The slight­ly sur­re­al sto­ry­telling and the extreme­ly cur­rent ref­er­ences may baf­fle adults (like this review­er) but will be attrac­tive to the tar­get audi­ence. It must be not­ed that this book is a PG-13” for lan­guage and indi­rect­ly described sex­u­al sit­u­a­tions; how­ev­er, only par­ents will be both­ered by these ele­ments; the kids have all seen worse on The O.C. No real growth issues are explored, but Chloe’s dream of break­ing into fash­ion is sat­is­fy­ing­ly resolved, if only through impli­ca­tion. Read­ers who share Chloe’s obses­sion with fash­ion will find the book intrigu­ing, while those who don’t care about clothes may be bored. An unnec­es­sary pur­chase for Jew­ish libraries, although it is good to see more cul­tur­al­ly neu­tral books being pub­lished fea­tur­ing Jew­ish char­ac­ters. For ages 12 – 14.
Hei­di Estrin is librar­i­an for the Feld­man Chil­dren’s Library at Con­gre­ga­tion B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, FL. She is a past chair of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Com­mit­tee for the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries.

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