David Da-Wei Horowitz has a lot on his plate. Preparing for his upcoming bar mitzvah would be enough work even if it didn't involve trying to please his Jewish and Chinese grandmothers, who argue about everything. But David just wants everyone to be happy.
That includes his friend Scott, who is determined to win their upcoming trivia tournament but doesn't like their teammate -- and David's best friend -- Hector. Scott and David begin digging a fallout shelter just in case this Cold War stuff with the Soviets turns south... but David's not so convinced he wants to spend forever in an underground bunker with Scott. Maybe it would be better if Hector and Kelli Ann came with them. But that would mean David has to figure out how to stand up for Hector and talk to Kelli Ann. Some days, surviving nuclear war feels like the least of David's problems.
Wendy Wan-Long Shang is the author of The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, which was awarded the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children's Literature, and The Way Home Looks Now, an Amelia Bloomer Project List selection and a CCBC Choices List selection. She lives with her family in the suburbs of Washington, DC.
Madelyn Rosenberg is the author of Dream Boy, co-written with Mary Crockett, and many books for younger readers, including the How to Behave books and Nanny X books. She writes books, articles, and essays for children and adults, and lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC. You can visit her online at madelynrosenberg.com.
Read an Excerpt
By the time we got back into the kitchen, the table was set. And when I say set, I mean, set with two complete and separate dinners.
The left side of the table was clearly Granny M's dinner: turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, spiced apples, homemade bread, sweet potato soufflé, and green bean casserole. On the right side was Peking Duck with plum sauce and handmade wrappers, eggrolls, a whole steamed fish, and a stir-fry of mixed vegetables. That was Wai Po's.
Maybe this was going to be my last Thanksgiving dinner ever. Or anybody's last Thanksgiving dinner. If it was in fact my last Thanksgiving, I supposed I wouldn't want it any other way. I just hoped that they would get along, just this once, so I could have a happy memory.
Mom sat down at the table last, even though it didn't look like she got to cook anything on her menu. She took off her apron and pushed hair out of her face. "Why don't you say the blessing over the Thanksgiving dinner, David," she said.
Granny M didn't miss a beat. "In Hebrew."
"The turkey isn't even kosher," I said.
"It's still good practice," said my grandmother.
What I really wanted to say was, Please, God, don't let the Soviets or my grandmothers blow us up on Thanksgiving Day. But I didn't know how to say that in Hebrew.
This Is Just a Test 5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
If you love funny middle-grade, you need to have this book on your shelf. Every scene featuring David's warring grandmas is comedy gold! Also, this is probably the most seamlessly cowritten book I've ever read. Kudos to the authors, who clearly had a great time with this story. Lucky readers won't be able to put it down.