Hoodie Rosen and his Orthodox Jewish community are trying to get used to life in the mostly non-Jewish town of Tregaron. Sure some of the locals are complaining, but it isn’t Hoodie’s problem. He has school, friends, and basketball to keep him occupied. But when Hoodie becomes friends with Anna-Marie Diaz-O’Leary, his life begins to change. His whole community shuns him as the enemy, and to make things worse, anti-Semitic hate crimes begin to increase in the area. Can Hoodie find a way to be himself, but bring peace to a community filled with hate and misunderstanding?
The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen was a fascinating book for me. I loved the glimpse of Orthodox Jewish life. The characters were excellent and Hoodie’s experiences were thought provoking. There are difficult issues in this book, but enough humor and hope that it doesn’t get too heavy. It would be a good book to read and include lots of discussion.
Recommended ages–14 and up