It's a Whole Spiel
Includes a special introduction by Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory and author of the #1 bestseller Girling Up!Get ready to fall in love, experience heartbreak, and discover the true meaning of identity in this poignant collection of short stories about Jewish teens, including entries by David Levithan, Nova Ren Suma, and more!A Jewish boy falls in love with a fellow counselor at summer camp. A group of Jewish friends take the trip of a lifetime. A girl meets her new boyfriend's family over Shabbat dinner. Two best friends put their friendship to the test over the course of a Friday night. A Jewish girl feels pressure to date the only Jewish boy in her grade. Hilarious pranks and disaster ensue at a crush's Hanukkah party. From stories of confronting their relationships with Judaism to rom-coms with a side of bagels and lox, It's a Whole Spiel features one story after another that says yes, we are Jewish, but we are also queer, and disabled, and creative, and political, and adventurous, and anything we want to be. You will fall in love with this insightful, funny, and romantic Jewish anthology from a collection of diverse Jewish authors.

It's a Whole Spiel Details

TitleIt's a Whole Spiel
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 17th, 2019
PublisherKnopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780525646167
Rating
GenreShort Stories, Young Adult, Anthologies, LGBT, Literature, Jewish

It's a Whole Spiel Review

  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so happy and honored to have a story in this collection, about a Modern Orthodox girl named Amalia who's suffering major culture shock at the transition from her insular world during college orientation. But there's a great amount of variety in here, including a story that made me cry like whoa (by Hannah Moskowitz), a story that brought back so many fun memories for me (by Goldy Moldavsky), and a story that makes such great use of social media I didn't even have as a teen (by Katherine Lock I'm so happy and honored to have a story in this collection, about a Modern Orthodox girl named Amalia who's suffering major culture shock at the transition from her insular world during college orientation. But there's a great amount of variety in here, including a story that made me cry like whoa (by Hannah Moskowitz), a story that brought back so many fun memories for me (by Goldy Moldavsky), and a story that makes such great use of social media I didn't even have as a teen (by Katherine Locke), and I know not every Jewish person will find themselves in here but I sure hope a lot will, and that readers who aren't will still find stuff to love <3
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  • Sahitya
    January 1, 1970
    Average Rating - ⭐⭐⭐.67 I’m always looking for anthologies to read because it’s a nice way to discover new authors. When this collection was first announced, I was very excited because it features many authors I follow on social media and enjoy interacting with. Despite not knowing much about Judaism as a religion or culture, I really had a lot of fun reading these stories. They are a wonderful exploration of what being Jewish means, how there are various expressions of the faith and no one o Average Rating - ⭐️⭐️⭐️.67 I’m always looking for anthologies to read because it’s a nice way to discover new authors. When this collection was first announced, I was very excited because it features many authors I follow on social media and enjoy interacting with. Despite not knowing much about Judaism as a religion or culture, I really had a lot of fun reading these stories. They are a wonderful exploration of what being Jewish means, how there are various expressions of the faith and no one of them is better than the other. It’s also about community and belonging and I really connected to that aspect of the stories. Also, the authors don’t shy away from using a lot of Hebrew words which would be unfamiliar for non ownvoices readers like me, but I liked it and it gave me an opportunity to look them up and try to get to know about them better. Overall, this is a nice group of stories about young Jewish kids just finding their way in life. Indoor Kids - Alex London A cute story about one science nerd and one intense religious artsy kid just getting to know each other during summer camp. It was funny, geeky, and a whole lot of awkward but also a lovely beginning to the anthology. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Two Truths and an Oy - Dahlia Adler Mali is a Modern Orthodox Jew at the orientation for NYU and she is pretty excited to start her real life. But she also finds it very difficult to socialize with others she meets because they are so different from her faith. This is a beautiful story about the importance of community and that it’s ok to feel comfortable only with people who relate to your experience. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Hold - David Levithan A story of first love and heartbreak, and what all different things being Jewish can mean, this one was full of wisdom and heart and made me a bit emotional. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Aftershocks - Rachel Lynn Solomon A sweet story about a non religious girl feeling unsure about meeting the very religious parents of her boyfriend. Other than exploring the different spectrums of being Jewish, this story also has OCD and anxiety representation and I thought it was done very well. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Good Shabbos - Goldy Moldavsky I don’t think I got the point of this story. It did have a lot of Jewish customs being talked about which I liked and the theme of best friends wanting to spend time together. But there were a couple of things that put me off. I also didn’t particularly like the footnotes. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Jewbecca - Lance Rubin This story about a boy feeling like a fake Jew because he doesn’t follow the customs was very relatable and quite sweet. But the best part was him realizing that it was still ok, that he could still be Jewish without knowing everything about the faith. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ El Al 328 - Dana Schwartz While I could totally see the terror of being in a flight during severe turbulence, and the desperation of a young woman to be kissed atleast once, I can’t say I really enjoyed this story or even understood the point of it. Rating: ⭐️⭐️ Some days you’re the sidekick; Somedays you’re the superhero - Katherine Locke A story about two friends who’ve lost their way a little and are trying to find it again, I really enjoyed this one. I particularly loved the nod to fandoms and the way it’s all written in the form of a tumblr fic. Made me smile a lot. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ He Who Revives the Dead - Elie Lichtschein Taking place during a Birthright trip, this is the story of a young woman trying to face her fears after her near experience with death. It has a great hopeful message which I enjoyed. I loved the descriptions of the places in Israel that the group visits and I was intrigued to listen to the discussions they had about the occupation. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Be Brave and All - Laura Silverman The tale of two introverts who meet during a convention in DC and decide to be brave and step out of their comfort zone to be part of a greater cause. Their whole anxiety about being social and among crowds felt totally relatable. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Neilah - Hannah Moskowitz With a very painful but sensitive representation of an eating disorder, this is a story of a college girl trying to find her place in the world where she has always felt the need to be smaller. It’s about finally accepting that she can occupy the space that is hers and just be herself. Very beautifully written. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 From the River - Matthue Roth This story confused me a lot and the whole idea of fifteen year olds contemplating becoming Orthodox because they feel everything else is just superficial, felt very weird to me. Not my kind of story. Rating: ⭐️.5 Ajshara - Adi Alsaid The only paranormal story in this collection, it’s about a young man who can communicate with ghosts. And it’s a nice coming of age story of him accepting his ability and understanding some inherent truths about himself and moving ahead in his life. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Twelve Frames - Nova Ren Suma A story about identity and roots, this one follows a young girl who just wants to live her life true to herself, not conforming to any societal standards, despite facing a lot of opposition to her choices. Another interesting coming of age story. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
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  • Adi Alsaid
    January 1, 1970
    Only like 1/12th biased
  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    Jewish authors I know of contributing to this: Katherine Locke, Laura Silverman, David Levithan, Nova Ren Suma, and Dahlia Adler. 2019 is preemptively saved.
  • Noa ☾
    January 1, 1970
    i'm just finding out about this but yall don't know how important this is to me
  • Melanie (bookswritinghappiness)
    January 1, 1970
    I received a digital ARC of this book through Netgalley thanks to Random House Children’s Knopf Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.When I first found out about this anthology on Twitter (I follow both Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman along with a few of the authors that contributed to this book) I almost burst into tears from happiness. In all of the books I’ve read throughout my life, I’ve found very little Jewish representation, and the same can be said for TV shows, m I received a digital ARC of this book through Netgalley thanks to Random House Children’s Knopf Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.When I first found out about this anthology on Twitter (I follow both Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman along with a few of the authors that contributed to this book) I almost burst into tears from happiness. In all of the books I’ve read throughout my life, I’ve found very little Jewish representation, and the same can be said for TV shows, movies, musicals, any form of storytelling out there. My expectations for Jewish representation are so low, it’s gotten to the point where if even one character says one sentence about something Jewish, I’m happy. When I met Becky Albertalli last year at EpicReads Day 2018, I thanked her profusely for putting Judaism and Jewish characters in her books, especially in The Upside of Unrequited (which, if you haven’t read yet, you absolutely should), and explained how much it meant to me. She told me that she also grew up reading books with very little Jewish representation in them, so it was important to her to put Jewish characters in her books now that she’s an author. I would have loved to see a story written by Becky Albertalli in this anthology, but I digress. My hope has always been that there would be more Jewish stories written about Jewish characters by Jewish authors, especially in YA, and now I am overjoyed that THERE IS A WHOLE BOOK FULL OF THEM!!Apologies for the caps lock. I am very excited about this book.I loved the majority of the stories in this anthology, and I love how diverse every single story was, both in terms of the characters’ Jewish identities and their identities outside of their Judaism. I found so many aspects of my personal Judaism represented in this anthology, and I couldn’t stop smiling as I was reading because I seriously felt SO SEEN!! I really wanted to give this book five stars, but there were a few stories that I didn’t personally enjoy as the anthology went on, especially towards the end. Overall, though, I think this book is really special and I am so glad that so many Jewish readers are going to see themselves represented in these characters. I also hope that readers who aren’t Jewish will enjoy this book too, and learn a bit about Judaism along the way : )Shoutout to my favorite stories (in no particular order):Indoor Kids by Alex LondonAftershocks by Rachel Lynn SolomonJewbacca by Lance RubinSome Days You’re the Sidekick; Some Days You’re the Superhero by Katherine Locke (Seriously, is that fanfiction site real? I sure as heck hope it is because it sounds absolutely fantastic.)Be Brave and All by Laura SilvermanThis book comes out just in time for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year) so be sure to pick up a copy on September 17th!!PS: I wish I could have written a story for this!!
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  • Reeter
    January 1, 1970
    About time! I've been waiting for a Jewish YA anthology, or just a Jewish anthology in particular. Not gonna lie though, I'm a little bitter that we have to wait until 2019 to get it.
  • Hanna Fogel
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED this book! I gobbled up every story. So many different aspects of the Jewish experience, yet all recognizable too. 💙 ✡ LOVED this book! I gobbled up every story. So many different aspects of the Jewish experience, yet all recognizable too. 💙 ✡️
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  • Other Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this is like eating fresh challah smothered in honey. It deserves all the love and attention because of how rare it is to see my religion portrayed in fiction. More importantly, portrayed in its various forms. No matter the level of observance each story had and how they identified themselves, I truly felt connected.
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  • Victoria Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    Sounds Jewish I'm in
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    *Review is of an advanced reader copyWith a foreword by Mayim Bialik this is a fun collection of short stories written by Jewish authors. Each story focuses on a Jewish teen or young adult dealing with not only their religious identity but also very common and thus relatable, life experiences. Of course I preferred some of the stories to others but, overall, I enjoyed the mix of stories and experiences. Although not all of the protagonists held deep religious convictions, one thing that struck m *Review is of an advanced reader copyWith a foreword by Mayim Bialik this is a fun collection of short stories written by Jewish authors. Each story focuses on a Jewish teen or young adult dealing with not only their religious identity but also very common and thus relatable, life experiences. Of course I preferred some of the stories to others but, overall, I enjoyed the mix of stories and experiences. Although not all of the protagonists held deep religious convictions, one thing that struck me was how large a role Judaism played in each person's identity. Many of them were members of Jewish communities that influenced nearly all of their social engagements. Even those who had not been brought up attending synagogue were still inextricably linked with their roots.The copy I read was unfinished. Many of the terms with which I was unfamiliar could be defined by contextual clues. Some did require a search engine. For this reason, I do hope the final copy includes a glossary for those of us who are not Jewish.
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  • Gillian
    January 1, 1970
    I received a netgalley copy in exchange for an honest review. I never realized how great it feels to read an own voices book. I love the feeling of “getting it”, of understanding that my experiences as a Jewish person is shared by others. That there are universal things we as Jews experience and feel. I loved this collection of stories and related to many of them. The feelings and questions that each of these young Jewish characters have in the stories are all ones I’ve experienced as I was grow I received a netgalley copy in exchange for an honest review. I never realized how great it feels to read an own voices book. I love the feeling of “getting it”, of understanding that my experiences as a Jewish person is shared by others. That there are universal things we as Jews experience and feel. I loved this collection of stories and related to many of them. The feelings and questions that each of these young Jewish characters have in the stories are all ones I’ve experienced as I was growing up. I would have to say that my favourite and the most powerful to me was the entry by David Levithan. I think this collection is great for young Jews to get them to embrace their Jewishness in whatever way they feel suits them. I wish I had this collection to read as I was growing up.
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  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly, I don't know where this has been. I know there is not a lot of representation for Jewish people out there, and this anthology is definitely a step in the right direction!
  • Yon Nyan (BiblioNyan)
    January 1, 1970
    This was so charming and delightful. Full review to come!
  • Arin ⭐
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come closer to publication!
  • Mikaela
    January 1, 1970
    ive been seeing so many anthologies that are coming out and i. am. here. for. it.
  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.It’s a Whole Spiel, edited by Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman, is an anthology in which the focus is stories with Jewish representation.In this anthology, you will find stories that give representation to different types of Judaism and to characters who may be Jewish but don’t practice the religion. The anthology also includes someone whose father is Jewish but the mother is not. (For those unaware, in most sec Disclaimer: I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.It’s a Whole Spiel, edited by Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman, is an anthology in which the focus is stories with Jewish representation.In this anthology, you will find stories that give representation to different types of Judaism and to characters who may be Jewish but don’t practice the religion. The anthology also includes someone whose father is Jewish but the mother is not. (For those unaware, in most sects of Judaism, Judaism is matrilineal.) What you won’t find in here is characters directly impacted by hate which to me is a breath of fresh air. Additionally, we also see Jewish characters in the LGBT+ community as well as those who struggle with mental health (eating disorder, anxiety, OCD).As with all anthologies, there are some stories that are stronger than others. However, most stories in this anthology are particularly strong. Laura Silverman, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Alex London, Lance Rubin, and Dahlia Adler all offer particularly strong offerings.For non-Jewish readers, if you are unfamiliar with Jewish customs and the religion, you will struggle to understand some of these stories because those particular stories are written with a Jewish audience in mind. However, this would be a great catalyst for a person to research more into a major world religion.This is a solid and welcome anthology addition to add to your collection.It’s a Whole Spiel releases September 17.
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  • Mikayla Tewksbury
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.As someone who is not Jewish, but has close friends who are, it was fun getting to see a glimpse into their everyday lives! I loved the stories within this anthology. It was refreshing to see a collection of stories that portray Judaism in a way that reflects the diversity of 2019: there was LGBT+ representation, characters who grapple with some mental health conflicts, and characters who are Jewish but do not acti Disclaimer: I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.As someone who is not Jewish, but has close friends who are, it was fun getting to see a glimpse into their everyday lives! I loved the stories within this anthology. It was refreshing to see a collection of stories that portray Judaism in a way that reflects the diversity of 2019: there was LGBT+ representation, characters who grapple with some mental health conflicts, and characters who are Jewish but do not actively practice the religion. There was a great range of genres within this anthology as well. I highly recommend it!
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  • Andréa
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher at ALA Annual 2019.
  • Veronica (OnWednesdaysWeRead_)
    January 1, 1970
    I want to first start off by saying thank you for the opportunity to read and review this story early. As a Jewish American, the title and premise alone grabbed me. This is a collection of short stories, each one mutually exclusive to the next. I will admit, that a few of the stories did not fully relate me; however, being Jewish myself, there was a little bit of something in every story ❤ I am aware that this is a middle grade read; however, I do wish there was more depth to some of the topics I want to first start off by saying thank you for the opportunity to read and review this story early. As a Jewish American, the title and premise alone grabbed me. This is a collection of short stories, each one mutually exclusive to the next. I will admit, that a few of the stories did not fully relate me; however, being Jewish myself, there was a little bit of something in every story ❤️ I am aware that this is a middle grade read; however, I do wish there was more depth to some of the topics discussed. Identity is such a crucial part, one that I have/am currently experiencing. “Too Jewish” “Not Jewish enough” “You don’t ‘look Jewish’” “you don’t ‘act’ Jewish.” I grew up listening to all of that, and am still experiencing that type of treatment. Yes, I am Jewish 100%- my mother is Jewish which makes me a “Real Jew”, I went to private school half of my life and studied the Torah and took Hebrew lessons. I went from being a camper to a counselor. Only thing I didn’t do was the Birth Right trip nor did I become Bat Mitzvah’ed . I think this entire story had so much potential to take Judaism and Identity to another level. I wanted more. If this could be written in YA or as Non-Fiction for Adults I would totally read it again. Loved the idea of helping me find my place in this world. I give it 3.5 stars because it was cute and I did laugh at certain points and I did nod my head in agreement throughout. 5 stars for whoever came up with the book’s title. Absolutely adore “It’s a Whole Spiel.” I used that saying at least once a day haha
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  • Alahna
    January 1, 1970
    I probably won't ever get around to reading this, but I am happy about it. Jews in fiction, let alone YA, are not something I come across very often. I'll try to remember to read this one.
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