NEVER MIND THE GOLDBERGS by Matthue Roth

NEVER MIND THE GOLDBERGS

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this vividly voiced fish-out-of-water story with a twist, Hava Aaronson, a 17-year-old punk New Yorker with a rebellious streak a mile wide, scores the summer job of a lifetime, starring in a situation comedy that’s filming in California. What gives the story its unique snap is that Hava is a deeply religious Orthodox Jew and the show, The Goldbergs, is about [what else?] a wacky modern Orthodox family. “Just think of it as The Cosby Show, only with Jewish people instead of Negroes,” a production staffer tells her. Most of the other cast members are non-Jewish—“What’s my motivation for lighting Sabbath candles?”—and Hava’s catchphrase is the ridiculous “Oy vey, dude.” Although keenly observed and witty, the story doesn’t arc, and Hava is such an up-and-down contradictory character that she’s hard to get a grip on. Nonetheless, readers will be both amused and intrigued by this lively teen struggling to amalgamate her religious and secular cultures without compromising either. Flawed but winning. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-439-69188-5
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: PUSH/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2005




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