Author: Walters, Eric
It's 2002. In the aftermath of the twin towers-and the death of her beloved grandmother-Shirli Berman is intent on moving forward. The best singer in her junior high, she auditions for the lead role in Fiddler on the Roof, but is crushed to learn that she's been given the part of the old Jewish mother in the musical rather than the coveted part of the sister. But there is an upside: her "husband" is none other than Ben Morgan, the cutest and most popular boy in the school.
|Added Entry - Personal Name:||Kacer, Kathy|
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 506312
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2019 Gr 5 Up—Shirli was born with music in her blood, so landing a lead role in her middle school's production of Fiddler on the Roof is an amazing opportunity. Unfortunately, she isn't given the role of one of the sisters as she was expecting, but the role of the mother. Disappointed at first, Shirli tries to embrace the role and its benefits, including spending time with her stage husband and crush Ben Morgan. On a quest to prepare for her performance, Shirli asks her grandfather for props from the old clothes and furniture in his attic. There she discovers an old violin and poster for her grandfather and his family's band. When Shirli asks her grandfather, who never listens to music or seems to have any musical talent, about the violin, he tells her of the time he spent playing in a concentration camp during World War II. As her grandfather slowly recounts bits of his and his family's stories, she begins to feel a new closeness to him, as well as to her role in the musical. Taking place in the year after 9/11, the novel weaves the uncertainty and discrimination felt during the time following the terrorist attacks with Shirli's grandfather's experience during World War II. VERDICT A tale that teaches both history and compassion; a great choice for middle grade readers.—Jayna Ramsey, Douglas County Libraries in Parker, CO - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/15/2019 It's 2002 and seventh grader Shirli Berman is disappointed to have been cast as the mother (rather than the ingénue daughter) in her school production of Fiddler on the Roof. While searching her grandfather Zayde's attic for costumes and props, she discovers an old violin, somewhat surprising since Zayde has never shown any interest in music. Gradually, the play begins to coalesce, Shirli's friendship with her crush/stage husband Ben develops, and Zayde opens up about his past as a violinist and prisoner at Auschwitz. Walters and Kacer's richly emotional text manages to feel both contemporary and historic. Set in New Jersey in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, the authors successfully connect 9/11 and the Holocaust in terms of persecution, intolerance, and loss. At the same time, lighter scenes featuring junior high school lunchroom banter, rehearsal drama, and does-he-like-me uncertainty ensure that younger readers, who are perhaps less aware of the Holocaust, will stay engaged. When the play's sponsor is sidelined, Zayde steps in as director, successfully resolving the story's many threads. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.