Hon­ey and Me

Meira Drazin

  • Review
By – October 16, 2022

Mil­la and her best friend, Hon­ey, live next door to one anoth­er. Mil­la is delight­ed when she learns that Hon­ey is trans­fer­ring schools and will now be in her class. Both girls are Mod­ern Ortho­dox — although one fam­i­ly’s obser­vance is slight­ly stricter than the oth­er — and their lifestyles revolve to a large extent around Shab­bat, hol­i­days, and tra­di­tions. Through­out the sto­ry, the two friends must nav­i­gate envy, com­pe­ti­tion, social stress­es, fam­i­ly issues, the sud­den death of a beloved teacher, sib­ling rival­ries, parental rela­tion­ships, and the spe­cial ten­sions and joys of the bat mitz­vah year. They ulti­mate­ly emerge more thought­ful and mature, their friend­ship test­ed and then deepened.

Hon­ey and Me illus­trates that Jew­ish obser­vance can be impor­tant and mean­ing­ful while still leav­ing room for the dai­ly dra­mas of pre­teen-and-teen life. Appre­ci­a­tion for fam­i­ly, com­mu­ni­ty, and close friends is a hall­mark of the sto­ry. Some read­ers will be famil­iar with this par­tic­u­lar form of Jew­ish obser­vance and will com­fort­ably see them­selves and their fam­i­lies por­trayed; oth­ers will be intro­duced to a lifestyle with which they are unfa­mil­iar. Both par­ties will come to appre­ci­ate how young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies can inte­grate Jew­ish life into the everyday.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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