Honey and Me
WINNER of the Sydney Taylor Book Award 2023 Middle Grade Honor!!! (The Sydney Taylor Book Award recognizes “outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.”)
★ “Authentic, joyful, achingly real.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review; a Best Middle-Grade Books of the Year and Best Middle-Grade Friendship Stories selection!
★ “An effortless story that is both widely relatable and culturally specific.” — School Library Journal, starred review
★D Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of The Year 2023 selection! (D for Diversity, * for Outstanding Merit)
A 2023 Notable Social Studies Trade Books Award Winner! (The Children’s Book Council and National Council for the Social Studies’ annual reading list of “exceptional books for use in social studies classrooms, selected by social studies educators.”)
A CCBC Choices 2023 selection!
A Best Jewish Children’s Books of 2022 selection!
Fans of Judy Blume, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, and The Penderwicks will love this funny, charismatic story of a Jewish girl striving to forge her own identity in the shadow of her fearless best friend.
To Milla Bloom everything seems easy for her best friend, Honey Wine. Milla envies Honey’s confidence, her charm, and her big, chaotic, loving family ― especially when they provide a welcome escape from Milla’s small family and their silent house. The two friends do everything and go everywhere together. So when Honey joins Milla’s school for sixth grade, why is it not as great as Milla expected? Will she ever find the courage to step out of Honey’s shadow and into her own spotlight? Set in a modern Orthodox Jewish community in an American suburb, Honey and Me follows Milla and Honey through the course of sixth grade, and the holidays of the Jewish calendar, as they encounter dramas large and small: delivering meals to their unpredictable elderly neighbor, trying to impress the most popular teacher, accidentally choosing the same topic for their school’s public speaking contest, going to their first bat mitzvahs and studying for their own, and so much more. When tragedy strikes close, Milla must learn to define her own strengths and find confidence. Her relatable struggle ― filled with honest and tender observations ― comes together to form a classic coming-of-age story that is funny, wise, and authentic.
★ “Authentic, joyful, achingly real.”
—Kirkus, starred review
★ “An effortless story that is both widely relatable and culturally specific. This excellent title featuring main characters not often represented in contemporary realistic fiction is highly recommended.”
— MARISSA LEIBERMAN, School Library Journal, starred review
“…it is refreshing to read about a grounded friendship that holds up to adolescent stresses. Suffused with Jewish tradition and observances… the story succeeds in making clear in context what could be unfamiliar to readers while keeping the focus on the universal themes of friendship and the struggle for independence.”
— JAN ALDRICH SOLOW, School Library Connection, Recommended
“A heartwarming story of friendship and family that transcends the changing chapters of life. Honey and Me paints an inspiring picture of what holds us aloft as we grow. I loved it!”
—M. EVAN WOLKENSTEIN, author of Turtle Boy, winner of the 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award
“At once Jewish and universal. I finished this book with some of the salt-water tears that normally come with Passover, along with the warm, potato-kugel feeling of celebrating family life and Jewish joy.”
—MADELYN ROSENBERG, coauthor of Not Your All-American Girl and This Is Just a Test, a 2017 Sydney Taylor Honor Book
“A gentle coming-of-age tale of friendship, family and faith that revels in the small moments of Jewish life.”
― GAYLE FORMAN, New York Times bestselling author of Frankie and Bug, We Are Inevitable, and If I Stay
“Honey and Me is a tender coming-of-age story rich with culture and filled with authentic, endearing characters. At once intimate and universal, Drazin has created an emotional and heartfelt modern-day classic that will resonate with young readers. Oh, how I love this beautiful book.”
―ELAINE VICKERS, award-winning author of Like Magic and Paper Chains
“It puts its finger precisely on the pulse of adolescence, capturing the power, and also heartbreak, of close female friendships, difficult mother-daughter relationships and teachers who change our lives forever.”
―KAREN E.H. SKINAZI, The Los Angeles Jewish Journal
“Honey and Me illustrates that Jewish observance can be important and meaningful while still leaving room for the daily dramas of preteen-and-teen life.”
―MICHAL HOSCHANDER MALEN, Jewish Book Council
“The honest narrative highlights the sorts of differences within communities that a sixth grader might notice: which families allow more independence, which are stricter about religious observances, and which can afford fancy bat mitzvah parties. And while much of the focus is on family, it’s also on the maturing girls as individuals as they each figure out what matters to them.”
―SHOSHANA FLAX, Horn Book Magazine
“[A] lively tale of family, friendship and self-discovery… This book is also a wonderful window into the world of these two families, and with the helpful glossary at the back, young readers of different backgrounds are given a glimpse into the traditions that have shaped both girls.”
―LISA DOUCET, Canadian Children’s Book News
“A warm-hearted and intelligent coming-of-age story for age nine to 14.”
―ANGELA KIVERSTEIN, The Jewish Chronicle
“… it’s the friendship that takes center stage and it is one that any reader from any background can relate to.”
―RACHEL FREMMER, Tablet, “The Best Jewish Children’s Books of 2022”
“Honey and Me is like motzei Shabbos pizza: a delicious yet familiar treat… And in a time when people seem to think books always have to deal with capital-I-Issues, this one managed to be both thought-provoking and absolutely comfortable to read. Meira @meiradrazin , you nailed it.”
― AVIVA KLEIN ROSENBERG, Sydney Taylor Book Award 2023 committee member