Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Av 5763 - August 5, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

CLASS-ified Information

by M. C. Millman
reviewed by Yonina Hall

Jerusalem Publications

Sunny, funny and eager to please -- that's Tziporah, the new girl at Bas Melech Pnimah Academy in Spring Falls, New Jersey. Back at her Cleveland Bais Yaakov, she was the most popular girl in class, so she has every intention of slipping right into her familiar role after her family moves to a new city.

To her chagrin, nothing goes the way she plans. The other girls are nice enough, but Tziporah can't seem to land the deep, close friendships she dreams of. That's not to say she doesn't try. Readers will laugh out loud at all the gaffes and outright messes Tziporah gets herself into in her desperate grab for popularity.

What makes her tale even funnier is that it is so true-to- life. Teenagers will totally identify with Tziporah's fired- up enthusiasm and `great' ideas that inexplicably boomerang, while adults will share a chuckle over their own memories of those awkward teenage years.

CLASS-ified Information is an immensely entertaining, well-written book for everyone's summer reading list. It is also fine kosher reading, as not only the girls themselves but also their adventures and misadventures make for good, clean fun. What could go wrong with a Chanuka play, a science project, raising money for the school, a surprise party for a newly married teacher or the end-of-the-year graduation trip? Mix in one of Tziporah's bright ideas and you'll find out!

What makes Tziporah's story even more interesting is that it is the first in a new series of twelve books by accomplished author M.C. Millman. Each book tells the story of the eighth grade year at Bas Melech Pnimah Academy from a different girl's point of view. This intriguing techinque offers readers the chance to peek into each girl's private thoughts as she shares her secrets and reasons for behavior that others may not understand.

The new girl in class introduces all these characters, some with broad brushstrokes and others in greater depth. There's Faige, the class tzaddekes; Yaffa, the health food enthusiast, and Mindy, Rena and Suri, whose names must all be recited in one breath as they are, of course, a clique in the all-important society of teen friendships.

The girls Tziporah feels close to are Goldie and Aliza, whom she has already met in camp and who, she hopes, will ease her way into the others' affections. But why is Goldie pretending that Tziporah doesn't exist? And why is Aliza unwilling to get more personal?

As we hear the story from Tziporah's point of view, many questions are tantalizingly left unanswered. That only makes us want to read the books penned by her classmates. Rumor has it that the second volume in the series is now at the printer's. By the end of the last book, the author promises, you'll really know what's going on in class!


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