The Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman


Author: Mari Lowe


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Award-winner Mari Lowe explores the inner-life of teen girls with a middle grade thriller set in an Orthodox Jewish School

SHAINDY is a twelve-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl who struggles in school and has no good friends. She watches with envy as her next-door neighbor, GAYIL, excels socially and academically. They have little to do with each other, and it comes as a surprise when Shaindy looks out her window one September evening and sees Gayil staring out at her from her own window with a sign reading want to know a secret? 

The secret (at first) is that Gayil has a key fob that will allow them to break into their school after hours. Together, they set up a harmless prank in their classroom. But under Gayil’s instigation the mischief becomes malice, and Shaindy sees that the pranks and humiliations are targeted only at certain girls. But what could they have in common? With the fear of Gayil’s fury and her own reluctance growing,  Shaindy comes to the terrifying conclusion that if she can’t figure out how to stop it, the next target could be her. 

One of our editors commented: “This was like an eleven year old version of Mean Girls with the psychological thrill of Jennifer's Body. Think Heathers, but Veronica and JD are in the sixth grade (and no one dies, because this is middle grade). Yom Kippur functions both as the countdown that looms on the horizon of the story, and also a potential moment of healing for the girls at the end.”