Written by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang

David Da-Wei Horowitz is a junior high student who just wants to fit in. That is very hard to do when you are a trivia nerd. He has a lot of stress in his life right now: two grandmas, one Chinese and one Jewish, who can’t stand each other and fight constantly, one old friend and one new friend who seem to be pulling him apart, his upcoming bar mitzvah, and his love for a beautiful girl named Kelli Ann.

David and his friends Scott and Hector see a show called The Day After. This movie is about the day after a nuclear war. Scott wants to build a fall out shelter but doesn’t want Hector to be involved. In the end David finds out that growing up is about learning to get along with everyone and treating everyone around you with dignity and respect.

At the end of his Bar Mitzvah he gives his own rules about what it means to be a man:

  • Listen to what others are telling you and what they’re not telling you.
  • Speak up. Especially for those who can’t speak for themselves. Especially when it involves poison ivy.
  • Respect your family–they got you where you are, and you’re not going anywhere without them.
  • Don’t leave anyone out.
  • Support your friends and construction projects.
  • Be brave, especially when it’s hard, because that’s when it’s the most important.
  • Think big, whether it’s a fallout shelter or science fair project.
  • Apologize when your wrong.
  • Work for world peace by making peace where you are.
  • No matter how bad it gets, never push the button.

Although this book was a little slow in parts, I really like how David matured and realized what it means to be human.

Review by Christie Haslam, Gearld Wright Elementary Library
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-6

This Is Just A Test
Written by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Scholastic Press
256 pages
Release Date: June 27, 2017
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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