This Is Just A Test

This Is Just A Test
Age Range
Release Date
June 27, 2017
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David Da-Wei Horowitz has a lot on his plate. Preparing for his upcoming bar mitzvah would be enough work even if it didn't involve trying to please his Jewish and Chinese grandmothers, who argue about everything. But David just wants everyone to be happy.

That includes his friend Scott, who is determined to win their upcoming trivia tournament but doesn't like their teammate -- and David's best friend -- Hector. Scott and David begin digging a fallout shelter just in case this Cold War stuff with the Soviets turns south... but David's not so convinced he wants to spend forever in an underground bunker with Scott. Maybe it would be better if Hector and Kelli Ann came with them. But that would mean David has to figure out how to stand up for Hector and talk to Kelli Ann. Some days, surviving nuclear war feels like the least of David's problems.

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1 review
Cold War era with Typical Middle Grade Problems
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THIS IS JUST A TEST takes readers back to the year 1983. It follows David who is both Jewish and Chinese. He's an ordinary kid playing video games with his friends and getting ready for a trivia contest. But with the Cold War kicking up, David finds himself worried about it. After seeing the movie The Day After, David and his friend Scott decide to dig a bomb shelter, just in case.

Even with the fear of a nuclear attack, David still goes through typical middle grade issues. He has a crush named Kelli Ann and seems to fall apart every time he's around her. He also has friends with their own demons they're fighting. THIS IS JUST A TEST brings in normal middle grade problems but with the added effect of the looming Cold War. Fear of bombs mixed in with everyday issues make this story something truly unique.

Growing up with a dad who still lives in the 80s, I enjoyed the references from that time, especially Atari. I love how THIS IS JUST A TEST shows the importance of friendship and exposes readers elements of both Jewish and Chinese culture. David's attitude is refreshing and his humor is welcoming. Readers can easily relate to the characters in this book.

Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of historical fiction, friendship, and the 80s era.
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