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CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC by Sarah Darer Littman

CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC

By Sarah Darer Littman

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-525-47365-3
Publisher: Dutton

Eleven-year-old Justine’s life is both amusing and somber as she negotiates religion, family, and bereavement. Having been ridiculed at home for proposing that they keep kosher, Justine decides to give up Judaism for Lent and become a Catholic. Secretly, in her closet, she confesses to Father Ted (a teddy bear) and takes Communion (matzo and grape juice). On the day she attends Mass with her best friend’s idealized family, Justine’s beloved Bubbe has a crippling stroke. Wracked with guilt, Justine assumes it’s a punishment from God. Unable to care for herself, Bubbe moves in (wonderful) but soon dies, devastating Justine. Bubbe’s always given Justine the unconditional love that the rest of their disapproving, teasing family withholds. Struggling to find the meaning of religion (either one) and frustrated that her family won’t take her seriously, Justine seeks out a priest (on whom she instantly has a crush) and a rabbi (but not the family’s). Both help, as does her family—finally. Funny and tearful. (Yiddish/Hebrew glossary) (Fiction. 9-12)