Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

You are SO Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah!

You are SO not invited to my Bat Mitzvah!
By Fiona Rosenbloom

About the book: Stacy Friedman is getting ready for The Most Important day of the year- her Bat Mitzvah. All she wants is a perfect dress, a perfect dance with the perfect boy and maybe even a perfect kiss. But things don’t go as Stacy has planned them at all… she’s forced to buy a bridezilla dress and her best friend is caught in a compromising scene. Stacy then utters the unthinkable and ruins her social life: You are so not invited to my Bat Mitzvah!

About the guide:
This guide is designed to work with youth book clubs, mother/daughter book clubs or literature circles. It discusses the themes of friendship, growing up, sibling and parent relationships, peer pressure and faith.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is a Bat Mitzvah? Is there anything similar in your own faith or culture? Describe it. If you don’t have one, would you like one? Why?

  1. What are other ways that people show they are an adult? What makes someone an adult? At what age do you think people should be allowed to vote? Drive? Drink alcohol? Go to war? What makes you think this?

  1. What are some of Stacy’s “Statements of Fact?” Which one do you most agree with? Why? What would be some of your own statements of fact?

  1. Discuss Stacy’s relationship with her brother, Arthur. Would you consider them close? Why or why not? Would you like to have Arthur for a brother? Why? Do you think it was fair for Stacy to use Arthur’s issue with food as one of her own mitzvahs?

  1. Make a list of all the bad things that happened to Stacy. Which one do you think was the worst? Why? Rate them from bad to hideous starting with ten.

  1. Discuss the chapter titles. How has the meaning of each changed after you read the chapter? Which one do you like best? Why?

  1. “Maybe Rabbi Sherwin was an expert on rabbi-related matters, but I was an expert on seventh-grade-girl-related matters.” (p.76) What could Stacy teach Rabbi Sherwin about girls this age? What would you add? Do you think girls are more cruel to each other than boys? Why or why not?

  1. Compare Dante Decosimo to Andy Goldfarb. Do they have anything in common?

  1. Stacy faces many peer pressures. What are they? What are yours? What is the most difficult part about this aspect of teen life? How can parents help? How can friends help each other?

  1.  “The point is that I’ve imagined this day for a long time, but in my imagination you were always here.” (p. 169)  How does this realization help Stacy make the effort to forgive Lydia? Could you have made this call?  Why? Whom do you imagine on your most important days being with you?


Design your own dress for an important event in your life. Create sketches by hand (or digitally) and find fabric swatches (free at any fabric store) to add to the project. Or, pour through magazines until you find one there. Cut it out and write one of those catalogue type descriptions of it.

Another more fun option: hit the mall and take a picture of yourself in theperfectdress. Before you go: You must write at least ten “absolutely nots” that do not match chapter 17 but are inspired by them.

Write an email or text message from Andy Goldfarb to Stacy about her Bat Mitzvah. Be sure to make it sound just like him and don’t have any big realizations as he probably never had one.    

Create a poster for your wall that has at least five “Statements of Fact” that apply to your life. What have you realized that others might be missing? Post on your locker, wall or door so those who enter have a clue.

Rewrite chapter 25 to fit your own life/crush. (You might want to pick someone famous to save face. Read: Orlando Bloom!)

Author Interview:


  1. How did you decide to give a Bat Mitzvah a prominent role in your novel?

I wish my answer to this was better. It wasn’t because I was so traumatized by mine, or conversely that I am still so attached I needed to re-live it. The truth is much more basic and I fear, boring. Bat Mitzvah has a prominent role because I was approached to write a book that centered around a Bat Mitzvah.

See? I told you.

Not as interesting.


  1. Stacy has an irrepressible voice. Is she based off of anyone you know?

No, Stacy is really just Stacy. Her voice came to me very very quickly and sort of shaped the tone of the rest of the book. Her voice is very distinct to me, as is the rest of her. I can picture her and hear her. Perhaps she’s a composite of several people but I’d have to strain to realize who and I fear if I do that, Stacy would never forgive me.


  1. What do you hope readers take away from your book?

I suppose the most important lesson here is to know what is worth fighting for and what is best to let go. Stacy knows in her heart that friendship is important to her and slowly she begins to understand that what she gets from Lydia is more important than what she is getting from the boy she believed she loved. Stacy lost sight of her original beliefs and began fighting for false ones until she recognized that what she was fighting for was something she actually didn’t believe in or want.

  1. What’s the best part of being a writer? What advice do you have for teens who want to write?
What are you working on next?

I find it very difficult to say exactly what I want to say and writing for me is my chance to work at that expression. It is incredibly rewarding to struggle with a sentence only to see it finally fall into place. I build from there and then watch as one person morphs into another unexpectedly or see the shift in story lines and witness the issues that rise up between people. I say, “see” and “watch” and “witness” as if I’m not a part of it, because in many ways, I’m not. I’m just the pen taking it all down.

The advice I have is to read a lot. In between reading a lot, you need to write a lot. People are writers because they write, every single day. Whether it’s simply in a journal, or a poem or thoughts scribbled on a napkin, the writing center of the brain should be activated all the time. I also would recommend getting a notebook to write your thoughts, observations and ideas in. I use a regular composition notebook, the kind normally reserved for science class and I glue stories ripped out of newspapers in there, I draw in it, but mainly, I write in it. I write everything from To Do lists to ideas for other novels. I keep it in my bag at all times. I think I would feel bereft without my notebook.

I am thinking about doing another book with Stacy but I’m not sure. I suppose I’ll see how the audience reacts to this book and decide whether they want more Stacy. I’d love to see her at camp or on a school trip abroad (maybe to Italy?) I’m not sure. Send ideas if you have them!