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MOOSE STREET by Anne Mazer

MOOSE STREET

By Anne Mazer

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-679-83233-5
Publisher: Knopf

 Living in the well-established neighborhood of Moose Street (which could be in Syracuse, N. Y., where Mazer grew up with her author parents), 11-year-old Lena Rosen's activities are typical of the 60's (or the 90's): playing with friends and avoiding enemies while watching her baby sister in the park; feeling friendly toward a classmate despite his bullying brother and abusive home; coping with an art teacher who's unappreciative of her imaginative response to an assignment, and with teasing because she is a ``brain''; being kind, just once, to the class outcast. Through it all, Lena is troubled by prejudice, even from her best friend: ``The trouble with you Jewish people is that you're all brains and no muscles,'' Nancy remarks. ``My mother said so.'' Religion is everyone's concern here, and the Rosens are the only Jews. In every chapter, the thoughtless, hurtful words rankle; with a precise ear for dialogue, Mazer poignantly captures the smug, excluding atmosphere--so much so that her deftly sketched characters and incidents fade in comparison. A book with an important message, skillfully delivered. (Fiction. 9-12)