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Fitting In

Sharon Kirsh
Toronto, ON. Second Story Press
ISBN 0-929005-74-0.

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Fitting In
by Sharon Kirsh
Review by Minan Abbad
Grade 7 Arthur Ford School
London, Ontario
March 20, 1996

"Fitting In" is about a girl named Mollie who is Jewish and who worries about her looks. She worries that her face is too Jewish or if her hair is too Jewish. Mostly she is concerned about being an outcast. She starts to ask her friends what they think of her and her friends get uncomfortable and start to find ways of ignoring her. Mollie is very puzzled by all this. She had done nothing wrong. She had only asked her friends what they think of her, her religion and her beliefs. Mollie's best friend has something bothering her but she doesn't want to talk about it. Mollie feels that her life is falling apart. The kids who live near her and with whom she grew up are going around starting rumours and talking behind her back. Mollie realizes that some things are best not talked about!

This is not the kind of book that I usually read but I found it goog. The chapters were short but right to the point. The whole story was. The book didn't drag on like other books.

Fitting In
by Sharon Kirsh
Mr. Brannen's Class
St. Angela School
302 Russell Road
Saskatoon, Sask.
March 28, 1996

This book is good. It shows really how people have to work to fit in. In this book, the girl named Molly is now obsessed in finding out about "looking Jewish". I think it is very unfair to Molly and all the other Jewish people that they be treated as underclass, not as good people. The teachers and other students should be more understanding.

Jackie Braybrook

So far in this book, two very good friends are self-conscious about their looks. They are very different from everyone else. Three friends are Jewish and they feel different from everyone and want to be accepted as normal people.

Laura Anwender

This novel is very interesting and I find it neat. It is a very exciting novel and I really enjoy it so far. I understand most of it pretty well, but not all of it. I think the girl in the story is very confused and doesn't know what to think about herself. I think they would be living in a large city or town because there is a two floor mall. I think Molly and Naomi are pretty good friends.

Jade McCulloch

Fitting In by Sharon Kirsh
Review by Megan Smith, Grade 7
Caledonia Regional High School
Hillsborough, New Brunswick
April 10, 1996

The title "Fitting In" suits the book because the main storyline was about a girl who was constantly trying to fit in with her friends.

The theme of the story is that Mollie was always trying to be something that she was not. She wanted to be like her friends because she thought that they wouldn't like her if she wasn't perfect.

Two of the main characters in this story were Mollie and Naomi. Mollie is a young Jewish girl who is constantly trying to fit in.She feels that no one will like her because her friend Naomi is much better at everything than she is.

One of my favorite parts was when Mollie and Naomi were making a cake in home economics class. Mollie forgot to put in baking powder and the cake , of course, didn't turn out quite right. For this Naomi got very upset with her friend.

I would recommend this book for anyone in grades six to eight. I enjoyed it very much and I think that everyone including boys would enjoy this book.

Fitting In by Sharon Kirsh
Review by Kurt Anderson
Range Lake North School
Yellowknife, NT
May 16, 1996 Updated

MOLLIE- Mollie has long curly hair. She is a Jewish girl growing up in the sixties.She is kind and caring. Her best friend is Naomi. She's a whiz at Latin.
NAOMI- Naomi is also a Jewish girl. She is Mollie's best friend. She is also kind and caring like Mollie. Unlike Mollie, Naomi is a good cook.

Most of the story takes place in a small town. In the town it takes place at Mollie's house, at Mollie's Hebrew School, and at her public school.

Summary of Story
The beginning of the book just tells about Mollie, the different things she does, and her friends. Mollie and Naomi go to the mall and buy pistachios and then throw them off the second floor of the mall at people down on the first floor. Naomi and Mollie are best friends.

The students the Hebrew school watched a movie about when the Nazi's were killing Jews. Mollie realised what it was like back then and learned about her religion. She finds people look at her differently because she's a Jew. Mollie doesn't want to be different. Some kids in the neighbourhood covered her house in mud and put a big Nazi sign on her screen door. Mollie gets scared. Mollie's friendship with Naomi is drifting away, and Mollie doesn't know why.

Naomi's mom dies and that's why her friendship with Naomi felt like it was drifting away. Naomi misses a week of school. She moves to Montreal to live close to her aunt. Mollie is very sad. They promise to write to each other before Naomi leaves.

My Impressions I think it was a pretty good book. Some parts I didn't understand, but I guess that's because most of the characters were girls. I would recommend it to people who wonder about fitting in.

Fitting In
by Sharon Kirsh
Review by Esther Leung
Grade 7, Niakwa Place School
Winnipeg, Manitoba
April 22, 1996 updated

Fitting In is about Mollie, a Jewish girl, and Naomi, her best friend. Together they go to the shopping plaza on one of their regular end-of-the-week expeditions. Mollie is a conscientious person. She's conscious about her looks and being Jewish. She wants to be like the girls from public school and wished that they would understand the Jewish holidays.

One day, she learns for the first time about the Holocaust. She feels grateful for what she has, but is also scared. Suddenly, people become mean and seem to almost avoid her because she is Jewish. Even Naomi seems to be too busy to do anything with her. She has some kind of secret that only their family knows and she cannot tell anyone, not even her best friend Mollie.

After waiting for a long time, Mollie finally finds out that Naomi's mother died. The whole time Naomi's mother was sick was when Naomi had been busy helping out at home. Mollie feels that she cannot do anything to make Naomi feel better.

Next thing Mollie knew, Naomi's father sent her off to Montreal to see her aunt. When Naomi comes back home, Mollie wants to make up for everything with her, but soon finds out that Naomi is moving to Montreal.

In the end, Naomi and Mollie have one last reading of their poem by Christina Rossetti. It is about friendship.

I think this book was like a story of a Jewish girl's life. I learned about the Jewish religion and their daily customs. I liked and enjoyed reading this book. This would be a good book for someone that wants to fit in with kids that are different. In the end, Mollie learns to be herself and live as a Jewish girl.

Fitting In
by Sharon Kirsh
Review by Amanda Clarke
Grade 6, Bethel Academy
Victoria, Newfoundland
April 24, 1996

This book is about a girl named Mollie who is Jewish. Mollie hates her curly hair and her nose. She is always talking about her Jewish looks. My favourite part so far is where Mollie and her best friend, Naomi, go to the plaza and throw pistachio shells at people. I think that the book is good so far. I can't wait to find out what happens in the rest of the book.

Fitting In
By Sharon Kirsh
Review by Jenine Isbister
Grade 6, Gibbons School
Gibbons, AB
May 13, 1996

Story Summary:
Mollie is a Jewish girl. Life seems to be going fine until she learns about the Holocaust and what it means to her family. Later on, Mollie finds out that her friend Naomi's mom has died. Then all of a sudden Naomi and her family pack up and move far away.

This book had mixed-up feelings. It was funny in a few parts. For example, when Mollie and Naomi went "crawling" in the shul and got caught. It was sad when Mollie watched the video of the Holocaust and when Naomi had a secret she couldn't tell.

I liked the way the author added a few funny parts to even the sad ones out. I didn't like the fact that a lot of the sad parts were true. I would recommend this book to kids in Grade 5 and up. This book wouldn't be suitable for someone who doesn't like to read books with a lot of emotion.

Fitting In
By Sharon Kirsh
Caitlin Moorcroft
Riverdale Junior Secondary
Whitehorse Yukon
May 16, 1996

Fitting In is about a Jewish family living in the 60's. Mollie hasn't had any people bugging her about being Jewish in her younger years but recently some of her friends have become more distant and Mollie is getting quite confused by their rudeness.

Fitting In was a little bit boring for me because it was very slow paced. It also didn't explain much about the time or why these children came to think it funny to verbally abuse all Jewish people.

Fitting In
By Sharon Kirsh
Review by Shannon Marks
Riverdale Junior Secondary
Whitehorse, Yukon
May 16, 1996

I read Fitting In in March of '96. I thought it was a very interesting, and there was a lot about the Holocaust. The story was about Mollie a young Jewish girl who lived in the sixties. She was good in school; she was a whiz in Latin but not at all good in Home Economics. While she was in school; she found that the neighbourhood kids become distant, and some become very mean calling her and her family "Kikes."

I think that girls would like to read this more than boys. If I were a Jew I probably would act the same way as she did when the kids teased her, and her friend drifted away. I thought that she was very sensible, quick thinking, and smart.

Fitting In
By Sharon Kirsh
Review by Candice Crystal Rock
Secondary I, Baie-Comeau High School
Baie-Comeau, Québec
May 27, 1996

Mollie is a girl who lives in a community with not many Jewish people. Mollie is Jewish and there is a lot of racism because of her parent's choice of religion and nationality. Mollie then learns that the Jewish people supposedly killed Jesus. Can she stand the hatred anymore? Everyone is against her community.

I really found this book extraordinary because of the main idea. The author tries to make you understand about racism amongst teenagers and kids because of their religion. This has already happend to me in a simialr, but not identical way. I live in a completely French town with very few English people. Sometimes, the French kids who do not attend our school are mean to me.

I think this book should be classified for olders readers because of the topic dealing with World War II. It talks about how it started and what they did to the Jewish people.

My opinion about this book is that it's terrific. This is a fiction book but it could happen to anyone in their lifetime. The only thing I dislike about the book was all the detail. The described the school too much and that was boring.

Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

Collaborative Book Review Project