We Are So Crash­ing Your Bar Mitzvah

Fiona Rosen­bloom
  • Review
By – December 19, 2011
This nov­el explores the ado­les­cent angst and social dynam­ics of mid­dle school stu­dents. Sta­cy Fried­man and her best friend Lydia can’t wait to return to school after sum­mer camp to show-off their fab­u­lous makeovers. The real sur­prise is that their best friend Kel­ly is now a mem­ber of the super cool group, the Chi­cas. When pop­u­lar Eben Sei­gler hands out his bar mitz­vah invi­ta­tions, Sta­cy and Lydia are left out. Ini­tial­ly it doesn’t make sense that these girls would be so dev­as­tat­ed about being exclud­ed, since they don’t real­ly know him. But the emo­tions of teenagers don’t always make sense. The loss that Sta­cy and Lydia feel is a response to their friend Kel­ly mov­ing on — and going to the bar mitz­vah with­out them. They plot to win back their best friend and make their way to Eben’s bar mizt­vah — with­out an invi­ta­tion. The sto­ry is told with humor, which is at times laugh out loud fun­ny. Sta­cy, the main char­ac­ter, is gut­sy, fun­ny, and vul­ner­a­ble. The neg­a­tive impli­ca­tions of over­ly indul­gent Bar Mitz­vah par­ties is clear with­out being over­ly didac­tic to young read­ers. In the end, Sta­cy relies on the wis­dom of the lessons she learns from her Rab­bi, which nice­ly bal­ances the extrav­a­gant bar mitz­vah scenes. Sta­cy and Lydia are typ­i­cal teenagers with a real­is­tic and pos­i­tive Jew­ish iden­ti­ty. For ages 10 – 12.
Bill Bren­nan is an inde­pen­dent schol­ar and enter­tain­er based in Las Vegas. Bren­nan has taught lit­er­a­ture and the human­i­ties at Prince­ton and The Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go. He holds degrees from Yale, Prince­ton, and Northwestern.

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