Fish Out of Water

Coming fall 2020 from Orca Book Publishers!

Fishel (Fish) Rosner has a problem. Actually, two problems. One, he needs to figure out what his bar mitzvah project will be, and two, he has a secret. The mitzvah project isn’t a huge deal—he just needs to figure out what kind of meaningful charity project to do as part of his bar mitzvah community service requirement.

But his secret is a huge deal. He doesn’t like regular ‘boy things’. Things like sports—playing or watching—or doing outdoorsy things: climbing trees, or even riding dirt bikes with his friends. He’d much rather be reading or doing crafts. And it’s not like he’s a total couch potato—he loves to dance.
But all these activities are considered ‘girl things’. It’s not that he feels like a girl or wishes he was one, he’s just interested in different things than other boys.

When he asks his Bubby—his grandmother—to teach him to knit, she scoffs and tells him to go play outside. When he begs his mom to take him to Zumba, she enrolls him in a water polo. Why is everyone else so adamant about what Fish can’t or shouldn’t do?

Fish feels like—well, a fish out of water, even in his own skin. When he sees a poster at school about a knitting club, he joins, determined to learn, even if it means he’s the only boy. Even if it means other boys around school—like his own friends—don’t get it and tease him, calling him names and accusing him of being a girl. He doesn’t even understand why that’s an insult.

Will Fish be able to stand strong for what he wants to be? Or is he destined to lose all his friends just because he’s different? And will he ever be able to figure out a meaningful mitzvah project?

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