Jewish Values: Intentions

Place of Publication: 
New York
Publication Year: 
Number of Pages: 
272 p.
After discovering her beloved rabbi having sex in the temple with a young woman who isn't his wife, Rachel, 16, begins to question her faith. At the same time, a budding romance with Jake is threatened by her confusing relationship with bad-boy Adam, who happens to be the rabbi's son; her relationship with her best friend, Alexis, is falling apart; her parents' marriage is unraveling; and her grandmother's health is rapidly failing. As a result of mounting pressure, Rachel shatters her "good girl" image. On a shopping trip, she drops items into Alexis's bag and lets her friend take the fall for shoplifting. In the aftermath, Rachel realizes that she must tell the truth. The theme of taking responsibility for one's self is prevalent throughout the novel, yet subtle enough not to put off teens. Another valuable lesson to be gleaned is that people are imperfect. Heiligman's concise sentences coupled with realistic teen dialogue, humor, emotional highs and lows, and risky behavior (there are a few scenes involving sexual behavior and drug use) make this a fast-moving and engaging read. Although Yiddish/Hebrew terms appear throughout, readers can easily follow the plot without prior understanding of them
Book ID: 
Sydney Taylor Winner: 
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