October 17, 2019

#BookTour: What Makes Us by @rafimitt @JeanBookNerd




A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving him to reckon with his heritage, legacy, and identity in this fiery, conversation-starting novel.

Eran Sharon knows nothing of his father except that he left when Eran was a baby. Now a senior in high school and living with his protective but tight-lipped mother, Eran is a passionate young man deeply interested in social justice and equality. When he learns that the Houston police have launched a program to increase traffic stops, Eran organizes a peaceful protest.

But a heated moment at the protest goes viral, and a reporter connects the Sharon family to a tragedy fifteen years earlier — and asks if Eran is anything like his father, a supposed terrorist. Soon enough, Eran is wondering the same thing, especially when the people he’s gone to school and temple with for years start to look at him differently.

Timely, powerful, and full of nuance, Rafi Mittlefehldt’s sophomore novel confronts the prejudices, fears, and strengths of family and community, striking right to the heart of what makes us who we are.






Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (October 15, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0763697508
ISBN-13: 978-0763697501


Praise for WHAT MAKES US

What Makes Us is a heart-stopping, heartbreaking read — a book full of heart. Mittlefehldt’s thoughtful, nuanced exploration of identity pulled me in from the very first page, and I could barely put it down. Eran’s story takes a universal coming-of-age theme — finding out your parents aren’t who you thought they were — to a tightly wound and thrilling extreme. Most important, this book provides satisfying, much-needed representation of a contemporary, complex Jewish teen and his family. ―Lisa Rosinsky, author of Inevitable and Only


Provocative. ―Kirkus Reviews

You can purchase What Makes Us at the following Retailers:
        

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: This book was pretty good. I do think that more time should have been taken with the story because at times it feels rushed and at others it feels like it gets side tracked.  The characters on the other hand were amazing!!  In the vein of The Hate You Give this title gives a voice to Israeli-Americans. 


Photo Credit: Damien Mittlefehldt

Rafi Mittlefehldt is a writer who has worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance theater critic, and children’s author. His debut novel was It Looks Like This. Rafi Mittlefehldt lives with his husband in New York City.

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
Shortly after the horrific Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, I read an article that mentioned one of the bombers having left behind a wife and three-year-old daughter. It was a throwaway line, but it stuck with me — I couldn’t stop thinking about that girl, who was too young to understand what had happened. When would she find out who her father was, and how would she process that? How would others react to learning about her family history? Would she keep it a secret? Would her mother?

What Makes Us began very simply as a story exploring those questions. But as I fleshed out the two main characters, Eran and Jade, their personalities took the story deeper, toward matters that are personal to me but relatable to so many. Eran’s volatility and tendency to react instinctively force him to confront issues of impulse control and anger management. And both characters’ uncertainty regarding their own pasts compels them to wrestle with self-determination and to ask, What makes a person? As the novel switches between Eran’s and Jade’s perspectives, we see them reluctantly frame and then try to answer this question, all against the backdrop of a community on the brink of chaos.

        
WEEK ONE
OCTOBER 14th MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 15th TUESDAY Book Queen Reviews REVIEW
OCTOBER 16th WEDNESDAY BookHounds YA INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 16th WEDNESDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
OCTOBER 17th THURSDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
OCTOBER 18th FRIDAY Kait Plus Books FILL IN THE BLANKS
OCTOBER 18th FRIDAY Novel Lives REVIEW & INTERVIEW

WEEK TWO
OCTOBER 21st MONDAY Insane About Books REVIEW & EXCERPT
OCTOBER 22nd TUESDAY A Dream Within A Dream EXCERPT
OCTOBER 23rd WEDNESDAY Wishful Endings INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 24th THURSDAY Little Bookish Thoughts REVIEW & INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 24th THURSDAY The Phantom Paragrapher REVIEW
OCTOBER 25th FRIDAY Casia's Corner REVIEW & EXCERPT
OCTOBER 25th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW

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