Review of Things That Shimmer

Things That Shimmer Things That Shimmer
by Deborah Lakritz
Intermediate, Middle School    Kar-Ben    272 pp.
4/24    9781728476261    $19.99

In this novel set in 1973, all seventh grader Melanie wants is to be one of the popular Shimmers. As her best friend, Vicky, seems to be having more success achieving that goal than Melanie is, the sudden appearance of a new friend is welcome. New classmate Dorit was born in Israel and has moved from place to place, and she and Melanie discover they have a lot in common. In fact, each has a parent with symptoms of what the author’s note identifies as PTSD—Melanie’s mother from a car accident and Dorit’s father from fighting in the Six-Day War. The Shimmers are less than compassionate, and in an attempt to impress them, Melanie crosses a line in what she shares about Dorit and her family. The start of the Yom Kippur War believably heightens emotions, while Melanie’s growing understanding of the Watergate scandal mirrors issues of trust among Melanie and her peers in this tale of friendship dynamics that doesn’t reach for easy resolutions or immediate forgiveness.

Pubissue-From the March/April 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in writing for children from Simmons University. She has served on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and Sydney Taylor Book Award committees.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.