From School Library Journal
Adult/High School—Shukert is saucy, Jewish, and unabashedly quirky. In this collection of autobiographical shorts, she shares memories and anecdotes about growing up in comparatively non-Jewish Nebraska with the pace and proficiency of a veteran auctioneer. The shining gem is the chapter "Nazis in the Walls," which describes eight-year-old, Holocaust-fixated Rachel checking her showerhead for Zyklon B pellets and playing a game with her mother entitled, "People Who Would Hide Us from the Nazis." Perhaps as a habit picked up in explaining religious and familial traditions to goyim in her home state, she also includes a multitude of educational and entertaining footnotes explaining Jewish culture that begin with such greetings as "Howdy Gentiles!" As bright and witty as the author obviously is, however, there is a self-destructiveness and darkness that is at once announced and subsequently glossed over to unsatisfying effect. The humor and irony can feel slightly relentless during moments in which anorexia, alcoholism, and dangerous sexual promiscuity are laughed at a little too loudly. On the other hand, the tenderness and sensitivity of scenes with her grandmother read like a tribute and love letter. All in all, this is a clever and amusing title that is sure to be appreciated by teens who feel just a little outside the norm.—Shannon Peterson, Kitsap Regional Library, WA
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