Mannequin Girl

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From the Publisher’s Catalogue:

A moving coming-of-age story in the tradition of A Separate PeacePrep, and Skippy Dies.

Seven-year-old Kat Knopman worships her parents, temperamental Anechka and soft-hearted, absent-minded Misha. Young Jewish intellectuals, they teach at a Moscow school and dabble in political radicalism. Kat, about to start first grade at the same school, sees herself as their heir and ally. But when she’s diagnosed with rapidly progressing scoliosis, the trajectory of her life changes and she finds herself at a different institution: a school-sanatorium for children with spinal ailments. Confined to a brace, surrounded by unsympathetic peers, Kat embarks on a quest to prove that she can be as exceptional as her parents: a beauty, an intellect, and a free spirit despite her physical limitations, her Jewishness, and her suspicion that her beloved parents are in fact flawed. Ellen Litman’s work has been called “warm, true, and original” (New York Times Book Review). Stark, heartfelt, and deftly told, Mannequin Girl captures the bleakness of Soviet Russia and the hopeful turmoil of adolescence.