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What our readers are saying…
“I like that the main character is a smart girl — you don’t see many like that! I always felt like I was standing right next to her. An excellent book for girls in all ways! Recommended 100%!”
“The reality of growing up, problems, and happiness were combined in a fun, great read. I absolutely could not put it down. This is a must-read for any Jewish girl, and anyone!”
“Although this does not have a typical good-vs-evil story line, the author cleverly keeps you attached to Talia’s personal and social struggles. It’s truly a page-turner that is hard to put down.”
“My 14 year old daughter and I recently read this book together (I read it aloud to her). We found the book riveting!”
Association of Jewish Libraries Review
One school year in the life of 13 year old Talia is explored in this long novel for preteen girls. The only child of affluent, high-achieving and observant parents, Talia’s life has many privileges but like most adolescents, she still has her share of complaints. She’s an “only” in a community where large families are the rule. Her parents’ practice of hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests) means that their Shabbats are always crowded with strangers. The story seems intended to show the everyday-ness along with the wholesomeness of American Orthodox Jewish life. Although their lives are lived within a totally Orthodox environment, Talia and her friends are typical enough of their age group that non-Orthodox readers will identify with them. Moreover, there is very little Hebrew used and discussions of religious belief and practice are kept to a minimum so few challenges are presented to readers unfamiliar with Orthodox Judaism. The girls in this story may daven, belong to Shabbat clubs, and bless their food before eating, but they also like shopping, pizza, gossip, and fun. Talia herself is a math whiz whose intellectual achievements provide a balance to some of her more girly concerns. A positive tone pervades the story, whose natural dialog and ease of reading may offset the disadvantage of its length.
AJL Cleveland Chapter ~ New & Notable Books for Children & Teens
Thirteen year old Talia is the only child of affluent Orthodox parents. She has many privileges but like most adolescents, finds some things to complain about as well, including the presence of a flighty young woman whom Talia’s hospitable parents have invited to stay with them while she learns about Judaism. One year in Talia’s school life is portrayed in a story that shows the wholesome everyday life of a typical teen and her observant parents, friends, and teachers.
I really enjoyed this book. Although I think the publisher was aiming for a YA genre, I think it’s more middle grade based on the age of the main characters. So, I myself am a Reform Jew so I actually really enjoyed learning about how the more conservative families live. However, if you’re not into Jewish lit it also does an amazing job of informing the world of problems that come from death, money, and even your family beliefs. Granted you need to order the book from the website or amazon. I still really enjoyed it. It was hard to put it down. Its great if you’re a Jew trying to find yourself, or your religion. Or even if you enjoy a good story. I love any good story that doesn’t preach, and this book did that. I hope you enjoy it also.
Advance Praise for One Is Not A Lonely Number
A “four matzah-ball” read! As nourishing as a bowl of chicken soup, Evelyn Krieger’s debut novel about one Orthodox girl’s faith, family and friendships will warm your heart and soul. Ultimately, One Is Not A Lonely Number makes for good company—and adds up to a satisfying read.
–Melissa Schorr, author of Goy Crazy
A highly engaging, enjoyable read. Krieger offers a realistic look at Orthodox Jewish life, and she has created a charming protagonist in Talia Schumacher. This book should attract readers from within the Orthodox world and far beyond: it’s accessible to outsiders, and insiders will recognize aspects of their lives that rarely appear in fiction.
-Stephanie Wellen Levine, Author of Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey Among Hasidic Girls
Talia is a young teenage girl who cares about things that really matter (friends, family… and math!) and who is also funny, insightful, and very real. Readers of all backgrounds will relate to Talia’s struggles to understand others and ultimately to appreciate her own uniqueness.
-Yael Resnick, Publisher, Natural Jewish Parenting
“One is Not a Lonely Number” provides an authentic voice for Torah-observant teens. Characters that jump off the page and believable conflict and plot made this an enjoyable read. While Orthodox readers will appreciate the absence of groaners, the book is still accessible to those with less inside-knowledge. I particularly enjoyed the protagonist’s synesthesia and math-obsession!
-Leah-Perl Shollar, writer