A Jewish boy’s bravery and kindness are tested after an antisemitic attack on his middle school in this rousing novel in verse.
Ever since twelve-year-old Josh Kline found an antisemitic note in his family’s mailbox in third grade, he has felt uncomfortable about his Jewish identity. At a new school where he’s pretty sure he’s the only Jew, he’s hoping to just keep religion out of everything . . . until the morning someone sprays swastikas all over the building. That’s when everything changes.
In one of the school counseling groups set up in response to the attack, Josh finally reveals that he is Jewish, and quickly finds out there’s more to the other kids in his grade too: All of them have their own struggles. Maybe Josh can do something to help—to “repair the world” as his rabbi teaches, by starting a Do More club to spread kindness. But making a difference is never simple, even when you have new friends by your side.
Fast-paced and conversation-starting, Josh’s story is an empowering examination of prejudice, bullying, and how to take the first step toward change.
About the Author
Dana Kramaroff is a mom, an elementary school teacher, and a fellow of the National Writing Project. Her publishing credits include multiple articles about parenting on Scary Mommy. She hails from rural Pennsylvania (where her kids are often the only Jews in their schools as well) and is easily impressed by stickers, washi tape, colorful pens, and notebooks.
"Debut author Kramaroff presents an appealing protagonist in sixth grader Josh, the only Jewish kid in his school . . . The accessible verse, written almost entirely in lowercase, follows Josh’s awakening to the cause of justice." —Kirkus
"Kramaroff, in her well-executed novel in verse, does a fine job of dramatizing an important subject while deftly skirting didacticism. The result is an excellent book for both independent reading and classroom discussion." —Booklist
"Kramaroff crafts a thought-provoking verse novel . . . Through carefully balanced moments of pathos and heart-wrenching descriptions of casual cruelty, Kramaroff weaves a gently compelling narrative of self-acceptance and beginner’s advocacy." —Publishers Weekly