Sunday, June 26, 2005

Confessions of a Closet Catholic by Sarah Littman

This is my favorite kind of book - both funny and sad. 11 year old Justine's best friend at her new school is Catholic, and when she gives up chocolate for Lent, Justine decides to give up being Jewish. She says, "…being Jewish is all about suffering….People hate us, try to kill us, and don't want us to join their country club, while you guys get Christmas trees and Easter eggs." Her family (especially her mother who is a neat freak) is disapproving of Justine and never takes her seriously, so of course she hides her new-found Catholicism from them, pretending to confess to her teddy bear "Father Ted" and taking communion with matzo and grape juice in the closet of her bedroom. She is discovered when the crumbs and spilled juice bring an infestation of mice. Only her bubbe (grandmother) is supportive of her efforts to find her religious identity. Review by Stacy Church

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