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Shirli aced her audition for her school’s production of Fiddler on the Roof, but she can’t believe her eyes when she reads the cast list. Little does she know the surprises have only just begun.
Ages 11+
Pages 275
Publisher Penguin Random House
Coming Jul 2020

Average Rating

111 Reviews
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What the Book is About:

Shirli’s been looking forward to starring in her school’s theater production all year long, but when she is cast as Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, she’s disappointed to learn that she’ll be playing an old Jewish mother instead of the young and beautiful Hodel. Luckily, she’s “married” to Tevya/Ben Morgan, popular school quarterback and really nice kid. While searching her beloved Zayda’s attic for props and costumes, Shirli uncovers a mystery among the old trunks. Slowly, Zayda begins to open up about his past, and Shirli learns more about her Jewish roots.

Jewish Content and Values

  • Zayda is a Holocaust survivor and shares stories about his childhood and experiences.
  • Shirli plays Golde in her school production of Fiddler on the Roof. As she learns more about the character and the time period, she becomes more connected to her Jewish heritage.

Positive Role Models

  • Shirli is a kind and loving girl who often visits her grandfather and brings him groceries. Despite her disappointment at not getting the role she wanted, she does her best to make the play a success.
  • Zayde is a loving and generous grandfather who fights his inner demons and shares his family secrets and memories with his granddaughter.

Content Advisory

The story takes place five months after September 11th, and Shirli’s memories of that day are described, including mention of two schoolmates who lost parents. In the aftermath of 9/11, Amir, a Hindu shopkeeper who befriends Zayda, and Mohammed, a Muslim student playing the role of Perchik, are subjected to Islamophobic abuse. Shirli and her co-star Ben develop feelings for each other; they hold hands and kiss once. While Zayda is not excited by the idea of Shirli bringing a non-Jewish boy home to dinner, he’s eventually won over by Ben’s respectful and charming manner.
 
Zayda is a Holocaust survivor and has a number tattooed on his arm. Over the course of the book, he reveals the story of how his family hid in the forest and was captured by Nazis, deported in cattle cars, and murdered at Auschwitz. Zayda also relates how his friend, Josef, followed his wife and child into the gas chambers.

Talk It Over

Shirli had her heart set on singing Hodel’s part. Have you ever been disappointed but later discovered that it all worked out for the best?

More for You

Fiddler on the Roof was originally based on a Yiddish screenplay written by Sholem Aleichem – the pen name of Sholem Rabinovich. Born in a Russian shtetl (although he later immigrated to NYC), Aleichem was nicknamed the “Jewish Mark Twain.” Upon being introduced to Aleichem, Twain famously replied, "Please tell him that I am the American Sholem Aleichem."
What the Book is About:

What the Book is About:

Shirli’s been looking forward to starring in her school’s theater production all year long, but when she is cast as Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, she’s disappointed to learn that she’ll be playing an old Jewish mother instead of the young and beautiful Hodel. Luckily, she’s “married” to Tevya/Ben Morgan, popular school quarterback and really nice kid. While searching her beloved Zayda’s attic for props and costumes, Shirli uncovers a mystery among the old trunks. Slowly, Zayda begins to open up about his past, and Shirli learns more about her Jewish roots.

Jewish Content and Values

  • Zayda is a Holocaust survivor and shares stories about his childhood and experiences.
  • Shirli plays Golde in her school production of Fiddler on the Roof. As she learns more about the character and the time period, she becomes more connected to her Jewish heritage.

Positive Role Models

  • Shirli is a kind and loving girl who often visits her grandfather and brings him groceries. Despite her disappointment at not getting the role she wanted, she does her best to make the play a success.
  • Zayde is a loving and generous grandfather who fights his inner demons and shares his family secrets and memories with his granddaughter.

Content Advisory

The story takes place five months after September 11th, and Shirli’s memories of that day are described, including mention of two schoolmates who lost parents. In the aftermath of 9/11, Amir, a Hindu shopkeeper who befriends Zayda, and Mohammed, a Muslim student playing the role of Perchik, are subjected to Islamophobic abuse. Shirli and her co-star Ben develop feelings for each other; they hold hands and kiss once. While Zayda is not excited by the idea of Shirli bringing a non-Jewish boy home to dinner, he’s eventually won over by Ben’s respectful and charming manner.
 
Zayda is a Holocaust survivor and has a number tattooed on his arm. Over the course of the book, he reveals the story of how his family hid in the forest and was captured by Nazis, deported in cattle cars, and murdered at Auschwitz. Zayda also relates how his friend, Josef, followed his wife and child into the gas chambers.

Talk It Over

Shirli had her heart set on singing Hodel’s part. Have you ever been disappointed but later discovered that it all worked out for the best?

More for You

Fiddler on the Roof was originally based on a Yiddish screenplay written by Sholem Aleichem – the pen name of Sholem Rabinovich. Born in a Russian shtetl (although he later immigrated to NYC), Aleichem was nicknamed the “Jewish Mark Twain.” Upon being introduced to Aleichem, Twain famously replied, "Please tell him that I am the American Sholem Aleichem."