Title: This Is Just a Test
By: Rosenberg, Madelyn and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Call #: J Rosen.M
Set in 1983, this funny yet poignant middle grade novel (good for Grades 5 and up) stars David Da-Wei Horowitz, a Jewish-Chinese boy about to celebrate his bar mitzvah. After he and his buddy Scott watch the terrifying TV movie The Day After (about the aftermath of a nuclear missile strike), they decide to build a fallout shelter (cruelly leaving David’s pal Hector out of the picture). Meanwhile, David must deal with the battles between his constantly warring grandmothers as his big day approaches. This skillfully written collaboration between two authors gives readers a hero trying to understand the conflicts between his friends and family members, while also feeling perplexed by international tensions. The novel moves at a brisk pace, offering some laughs and real tension. Fans of thoughtful realistic historical fiction should check this out!