August 2012

When a sanctuary is no longer safe

By Deborah Heiligman
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Rachel Greenberg’s parents are on the edge of divorce, her former best friend Alexis is barely speaking to her, her grandmother’s health is fading—and while she’s theoretically almost-dating handsome, athletic Jake, something about the rabbi’s son, Adam, is totally irresistible.

Arriving early at her synagogue one day, Rachel accidentally hears an encounter that overturns everything she thought she knew about someone she trusted. She must come to terms with the secret and what it means for her own beliefs.

Rachel doesn’t always make the right choices—particularly when it comes to sneaking out of Friday night services or exacting revenge on a friend. However, her sense of morality, shaped by her religious heritage, leads her to well intended—if stumbling—attempts to make amends. Perhaps resolving these internal conflicts can help her find peace with her external ones as well.

Printz Honor-winning author Deborah Heiligman’s Intentions is suffused with the traditions of Reform Judaism. For readers who have struggled with Judaism’s views on God and personal responsibility, Intentions is a mirror that will validate their own experiences; for others, it’s a window to the landscape of an unfamiliar world. Intentions is a unique and welcome addition to the world of young adult literature.

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By Deborah Heiligman
Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN 9780375868610

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