What We’re Scared Of

£7.99

A stage doesn’t phase Evie. She has plans to be a stand up comedian. It seems that life is rich with opportunity for her, rather like croissants or hot chocolate or the wonderful Luke who seems to ask her to join debating club.

As she offers in one of her stand-up routines, her twin is nothing like her. It seems that everything scares Lottie, which is why she seems to live life in the shadows. Yet fitting in at their mother’s prestigious old school and then not rocking the boat, is what Lottie finds easiest. Then an asthma attack leads her to meeting Hannah. Thereafter, Hannah introduces her to her faith, one that Lottie’s mother shares, but denied her daughters. Furthermore, it seems that Lottie’s friends despise Hannah’s beliefs, while Lottie envies Hannah’s truths, routines and close family connection.

As Lottie learns more about being Jewish, Evie is venturing along another route, attending their local school with Mum’s friend’s son in tow. It seems that his family is threatened by the gathering pace of antisemitism in Paris. While London seems a safer option, Noah leads Evie to recognising that religious hatred is alive and strong in her city too.

What does it mean for Lottie and Evie and then their mother? What is her story? Why does she deny the girls’ their history? What does being Jewish mean and why is their such evident prejudice and mis-truth?

What We’re Scared Of is a taut, thoughtful contemplation of bias and hatred, the cowardice and infection of religious persecution that pulsates and spreads within our societies. This is a brave and urgent story that Bookwagon recommends highly to our older readers.

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Description

What We’re Scared Of

Keren David

(Scholastic)

Noah shows Evie What We’re Scared Of when he moves from Paris to stay with her family. Although she is annoyed by his seeming intrusion into her home and school life, she is fascinated, too. It seems nothing scares Evie; she’s committed to perfecting her stand up routine and is confident- unlike her twin.
Lottie attends the prestigious school their mother attended, working to fit in and do her best. She seems to apply this maxim to all areas of her life, from work, to food, to friendships. Yet the pressure to be a perfect model has her reaching for an inhaler and seeking support and sustenance. Is it possible that being rescued by Hannah during assembly might be the lifeline that Lottie seeks? Thereafter, what will she do with what she learns from Hannah. It seems they share a faith about which Lottie knows nothing. Why does the girls’ mother denied them their heritage?
What We’re Scared Of is a thoughtful, relevant consideration of faith, respect and responsibility. it includes real-life testimony from Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich. Furthermore, Keren David considers present- day attitudes that threaten truth and lives. Like Liz Kessler’s When the World Was Ours, What We’re Scared Of needs to be read and realised. It is an important and urgent story, recommended to our older readers.

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