Review Detail

 
Kids Fiction
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Nuclear annihilation... by grandmother!

David has a fairly ordinary life in Virginia in the early 1980s. He hangs out with his friend Hector, playing Atari and practicing for a trivia contest. It's through the contest that he starts to connect with Scott, who is more popular than David, but who has some issues of his own. Scott and David start digging a bomb shelter after the boys are traumatized by the made for TV movie The Day After. It's at home that David has his own stresses. His mother's mother, who is Chinese, lives with the family, and his father's father, who is Jewish, has rented a house nearby so that she can help plan David's bar mitzvah. The grandmothers like to try to outdo each other, especially when it comes to cooking, and the whole celebration starts to get a little out of hand. As the only Chinese-Jewish kid in his school, David isn't quite sure who he is supposed to be; he's just trying to keep his friendships with both Hector and Scott, talk to Kelli Ann, on whom he has a crush, and keep up with his schoolwork and his preparations for the bar mitzvah. Add to this growing concerns with Scott and increasing demands from his feuding grandmothers, and nuclear annihilation begins to sound less frightening!

Good Points
David has a wonderful voice, and his concerns about life in middle school are universal. Students may not read 1984 anymore, but there's still homework; not everyone has grandparents from disparate cultures, but the idea of trying to please everyone remains the same. I especially liked David's crush on Kelli Ann and his inability to speak coherently around her. While some of Scott's issues were on the serious side, David remains upbeat throughout, making his tribulations something that readers will feel comfortable laughing about with him.

This is a great book for so many readers-- readers who want to read about friend issues, about Jewish or Chinese culture, or who just want a funny book with a great cover. In fact, it would make a great bar mitzvah gift, accompanied by cash in multiple of $18! This doesn't really read like history, but could certainly be used for school projects that require great details about another period in time (Betamax! Funny clothes! Four television channels!).

The details of both family life and the 1980s add interesting dimensions to this book. I had just started college when The Day After was on television, and since I had no access to television, it wasn't on my radar at all. While it's a little alarming that my adult life is now historical fiction, it's great to have it written about by people who lived through it and can get all of the references correct! Now, if someone would write a historical fiction book about the last M*A*S*H* episode in February of 1983, I'd appreciate it. It was a huge deal at the time!
Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Light Years
As a mysterious virus infects the world’s population, a girl...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid
It is an ordinary Tuesday morning in April when bored,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ryan Quinn and the Lion's Claw (Ryan Quinn #2)
Ryan Quinn and the Lion’s Claw is the much-awaited sequel...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Among the Red Stars
World War Two has shattered Valka's homeland of Russia, and...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Going Wild #2: Predator vs. Prey
The Going Wild series highlights the unbelievable (and completely true)...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1953, and the United States has just executed an...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade
In sixth grade, bad things can happen to good kids....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Before I Fall meets “bah, humbug” in this contemporary YA...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Autoboyography
Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Infographic Guide to College: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know
For fans of the popular Show Me How series, this...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
The Hanging Girl
Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
BanThisBook.jpg
You’re Never Too Young to Fight Censorship! ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Eight Days on Planet Earth
How long does it take to travel twenty light years...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation
Even monster-battling princesses get tired sometimes! But a peaceful time...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Refugee.jpg
JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Light Years
 
3.3
"A dystopian-leaning mid-apocalyptic YA with a pandemic premise and a code savvy heroine. The book takes place in a..."
Ryan Quinn and the Lion's Claw (Ryan Quinn #2)
 
5.0
"After his harrowing experiences in Andakar and his discovery that his parents are involved in the Emergency Rescue Committee in..."
Among the Red Stars
 
4.7
"Valka has trained as a pilot, and idolizes some of the Russian women who have made the news for the..."
The Afterlife of Holly Chase
 
3.3
"Five years ago, seventeen-year-old Holly Chase was visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. They warned her to change her..."
The City of Brass
 
5.0
"Where do I start with this book? Well you better prepare for some late nights because once I started this..."
Three Day Summer
 
4.3
"August 15-18 is the anniversary of Woodstock music festival! and i relived that time by reading this book! i make..."
The Hanging Girl
 
4.0
"Skye Thorn is a fake. Her so-called psychic abilities are all a scam. Then she gets involved in the biggest..."
Eight Days on Planet Earth
 
3.3
""I want to believe." Agent Scully's take from the X files is shown here when a mysterious girl shows up..."
The Witch Boy
 
5.0
"Many of the stories out there deal with girls who go against the grain and want to do what society..."
Swing It, Sunny
 
4.7
"Again Jennifer and Matt Holm prove they are the dynamic duo when it comes to graphic novels and story telling...."
Solo
 
5.0
"Told entirely in verse, Solo is a story full of love, loss, addiction and music. Like Kwame Alexander's previous books,..."
Refugee
 
5.0
"Alan Gratz does it again with Refugee. Gratz knows how to weave historical facts and great story telling flawlessly. Refugee..."
This Savage Song
 
4.0
"This Savage Song is a uniquely peculiar novel that cleverly combines magic, monsters and music. Dark, violent and monstrous, the..."
The 12 Dares of Christa
 
4.3
"'The 12 Dares of Christa' by Marissa Burt is a sweet story of friendship, determination, strength, and forgiveness. Main character..."
Frazzled: Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes
 
5.0
"'Frazzled: Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes' by Booki Vivat is an adorable, illustrated story that not only proves a fast..."
How to Disappear
 
5.0
"I am so absolutely in love with Sharon Huss Roat. Her books are funny, relatable, and so easily devoured. I..."
David Inside Out
 
5.0
"David Inside Out is a novel about a teenager (David) who is discovering he is gay. In David's high school,..."
The Rest of Us Just Live Here
 
3.7
"I have to admit, it took me a while to get into this one. The characters seemed to me to..."
The Book Thief
 
4.7
"Death as a narrator? What an idea! It was so interesting to see the Second World War from a German..."
Ferocious (Vicarious #2)
 
5.0
"*WARNING: There are no spoilers for FEROCIOUS, but there are spoilers for book 1, VICARIOUS* As a reader, sequels always..."