The Jake Show

  • Review
By – August 26, 2023

Sev­enth-grad­er Jake is grap­pling with liv­ing in two worlds. His par­ents are divorced, and his dad is sec­u­lar Jew­ish, while his mom and step­dad are Ortho­dox. Jake is torn, often feel­ing that he must hide his oth­er” iden­ti­ty depend­ing on which par­ent he’s with. He even goes by the name Yaakov with his mom and Jacob with his dad.

When Jake starts attend­ing a new mid­dle school, he grows com­fort­able being him­self around new friends, all of whom have their own chal­lenges. They invite him to sum­mer camp, and he is eager to go — even if it means con­coct­ing a plan to fool his par­ents. But when things spi­ral out of con­trol, Jake must learn to drop the cha­rade he puts on for his par­ents and emerge as himself.

As a TV show fan, Jake often ref­er­ences tele­vi­sion when describ­ing his thoughts and expe­ri­ences. He reveals that he feels more like a char­ac­ter who must stick to the script than a per­son liv­ing in real­i­ty. Read­ers will empathize with Jake as he strug­gles between two very dif­fer­ent parts of his fam­i­ly and ulti­mate­ly dis­cov­ers who the real” Jake is.

The Jake Show is a delight­ful read that charts one boy’s emo­tion­al growth with a del­i­cate bal­ance of humor and heart.

Jil­lian Bietz stud­ied library tech­nol­o­gy and research skills and cur­rent­ly works in the library sys­tem. She is a book review­er for the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and Kirkus Review Indie. Jil­lian lives in South­ern California.

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