(From the publisher):
From the publisher
Jill Wasserstrom, a studious and idealistic eighth-grader at Chicago's Boone Elementary School, is preparing to defend the Ayatollah Khomeini in a school debate, and then sabotage her Bat Mitzvah.
Her best friend, Muley Wills, is in love with her, though he can't understand her obsession with Iran. He himself is obsessed with a figure of his imagination: a long-lost cousin, the alluring Soviet defector Peachy Moskowitz, the unpredictable and hugely popular subject of his weekly monologue on Public Radio's Young Town Kids.
Larry Rovner, a high school senior and newly observant Jew, wants to make it as a rock star, composing Jewish-themed hits to impress girls and get Michelle Wasserstrom to sleep with him. Michelle has her sights on the stage - if she can only graduate from high school. Larry's sister Lana is bent on undermining everyone around her and getting a perfect score on her school report on Marie Curie so her father will make good on his bribe of a trip to Paris.
California Avenue, in Chicago's West Rogers Park neighborhood, separates the upper-middle-class Jewish families on the west from the mostly middle-class Jewish households east of the divide. This novel tells the story of three families - parents Charlie Wasserstrom, Michael and Ellen Rovner, and Deirdre Wills, and their teenage children, living on either side of California. It follows their loves, heartaches, friendships, and losses during a memorable and defining moment of American history.
Spanning the Iran hostage crisis through he inauguration of Ronald Reagan as president, Crossing California is look at the end of an era, the turning point when the idealism of the sixties gave way to the pragmatism of the eighties.
Original title: Crossing California
Genre: Fiction→ Children & Young Adult→ Social Issues