Where You've Got to Be is a very well written character driven story for middle-grade readers by Caroline Gertler. Released 13th Sept 2022 by HarperCollins on their Greenwillow imprint, it's 288 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Paperback format due out 4th quarter 2023 from the same publisher. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
This is a beautifully nuanced and sympathetically written book with a young Jewish tween protagonist who is feeling left behind by her sister and her best friend who are growing up. She feels misunderstood and marginalized and wants to find her place in the world and doesn't quite know how to go about it.
It's a quick read and will appeal to the intended audience. I enjoyed the realistic relationship between sisters Nolie and Linden, as well as their family dynamic with their parents and grandmother and extended family. There's a lot of information about the Jewish faith and the sisters' cultural and spiritual lives included in an organic and not-at-all-preachy manner.
Four and a half stars. This would be an excellent choice for public or school library acquisition, as well as home reading.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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