Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaustby Leanne Lieberman
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Lauren Yanofsky doesn't want to be Jewish anymore. Her father, a noted Holocaust historian, keeps giving her Holocaust memoirs to read, and her mother doesn't understand why Lauren hates the idea of Jewish youth camps and family vacations to Holocaust memorials. But when Lauren sees some of her friends—including Jesse, a cute boy she likes—playing Nazi war games, she is faced with a terrible choice: betray her friends or betray her heritage. Told with engaging humor, Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust isn't simply about making tough moral choices. It's about a smart, funny, passionate girl caught up in the turmoil of bad-hair days, family friction, changing friendships, love—and, yes, the Holocaust.
Meet the Author
Leanne Lieberman grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her work has previously been published in The Windsor Review, The New Quarterly, The Antigonish Review and other magazines. Leanne's novel Gravity was her master's thesis at the University of Windsor. Leanne works as a teacher in Kingston, Ontario, where she lives with her husband and two sons.
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When I first learned the title of Leanne Lieberman’s new novel, I was first put off and thought that I would probably not like Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust. However, after reading the novel, I have changed my opinion and think that the title is a brilliant idea and it may also attract readers who have no interest in learning about the Holocaust. There are several interesting themes in this novel - all issues that junior and senior high school students are forced to deal with on a daily basis and they are dealt with in a very engaging manner. At first Lauren struggles with how to deal with the objectionable behavior of her fellow students/friends. Young adults are faced with issues of bullying, racism, or gay bashing to name a few examples of behaviors that many young people might be forced to take a stand on. Then Lauren is confronted with the issue of what to do when she and her best friend have a romantic interest in the same person, and appropriate behavior. Through Lauren we read that young people learn that their interests, ideas and feelings change as they mature and that suddenly your best friend may seem like a stranger to you. You might find yourself rejected by your friends and as young adults go through junior and senior high they may experience similar situations. The last theme I found interesting was the issue faced by Lauren and her brother Zach; they had to learn to exert their independence in a positive way as they discovered that their wishes and desires were in conflict with what their parents wanted and expected for them. The author deals with all the above issues in a way that really holds the reader’s attention and interest. The book actually gives the reader a great deal of information about the Holocaust and an awareness of other past genocides of which they might not have had any knowledge. If after reading this book, the reader wants to learn more about the holocaust, Lauren actually provides a detailed list of books to read. This is a book that should be read by all young adults and probably their parents too, so that they can get insights into the current world of their teenagers.