Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust
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Lauren Yanofsky doesn't want to be Jewish anymore. Her father, a noted Holocaust historian, keeps giving her Holocaust memoirs to read, and her mother doesn't understand why Lauren hates the idea of Jewish youth camps and family vacations to Holocaust memorials. But when Lauren sees some of her friends—including Jesse, a cute boy she likes—playing Nazi war games, she is faced with a terrible choice: betray her friends or betray her heritage.
Told with engaging humor, LYHH isn't simply about making tough moral choices. It's about a smart, funny, passionate girl caught up in the turmoil of bad-hair days, family friction, changing friendships, love—and, yes, the Holocaust.
off, baby. He’s Lauren’s lover boy.” “Oooh.” Em leans toward us and wiggles her fingers. “Lover boy.” Brooke stands up and pushes past them. “You guys are so lame.” Chloe and Em jump in the air and high-five each other. “Y-a-y lame!” Brooke rolls her eyes, and Chloe and Em run across the park to the swings. I sip my drink, not wanting to get too drunk, just buzzed enough to keep the edge off. I’m about to ask Brooke if she wants to go for a walk when a rusted old Toyota Corolla pulls up
History Channel and thought it looked cool or funny to goose-step. Maybe they don’t actually know about the Holocaust, about what the Nazis did. I hold my breath for a moment and try to imagine this. Can there actually be people who haven’t heard about the Holocaust? I try to imagine what it would be like to be a guy like Justin: white, male, smart enough, a good athlete, oblivious to genocide. His parents are still together, and he lives in a nice house near Chloe. What would it be like to grow
neighborhood?” “Yes, sir, glad to be back.” I can’t believe he’s here, that he wants to see me again. I look in the mirror. I’m not curvy like Brooke or sexy like Chloe. I do have nice skin, but I still don’t get it. Why does he like me? I’m actually stiff from running last night, and part of me feels like saying, Forget it, I can’t take this much excitement. I sit on the floor and pull on a pair of socks anyway. Maybe I can just tell him the truth. Which is what? Brooke is in love with him? I
me tightly again. He smooths my hair instead. When we break apart, my cheeks are flushed. “I should go,” I say, “but I don’t want to.” Jesse nudges me with his shoulder. “See you tomorrow at school, where I won’t talk to you.” “I heard Tyler’s having a party tomorrow night,” I blurt out. “I’ll be there. You?” “Yeah, me too.” He smiles. “See you,” he says; then he jogs down the lane. Eleven On Friday night, Mom, Dad, Zach and I are invited to the Shusters’ for dinner. Not only do I
phones on the bus ride home. I think about how Brooke and I will never go to the lantern festival again, or play on the beach. I can see it in her eyes. We’re never going to go on an adventure together again. When we get off the bus in front of Brooke’s townhouse, I say, “You’re still going to play basketball this year, right?” Cars are whipping past us, but I can only focus on Brooke. “I think I might skip this year.” I rub my hands against my jeans. “That’s crazy. You love basketball.”