A few years ago I read Jennifer Weiner's Certain Girls, which revolves around a Bat Mitzvah. So like the good librarian that I am, I used that title as my starting point to find more Bar or Bat Mitzvah books. I used NoveList because it allows me to search by subject; however, I was disappointed to find that Bat Mitzvah was not a subject term. I could search by "Jewish Women," but not "Bat Mitzvah."
So, I read the reviews for Certain Girls and saw that every one mentioned the Bat Mitzvah part. Thankfully, NoveList allows for keyword searching that will pick up words in the review fields. I chose to just search "Mitzvah" to get all Bar and Bat Mitzvah titles. After setting the sort function to "Adult" and "Fiction" I got a very manageable list of 66 titles, including:
- The Bar Mitzvah Murder by Lee Harris
- Not Quite Kosher by Stuart Kaminsky
- Much Ado About Jessie Kaplan by Paula Marantz Cohen
- Crossing California by Adam Langer
- The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank
Why I am going into such detail here? Because, this is a great example of some of the very specific types of questions we get at the RA desk. You need to be able to make the resources fit your readers' questions. In this case, I wanted to match my reading to my activity over the weekend. This is a common request. It was a Bat Mitzvah in this example, but it could have easily of been a sailing trip, camp out, or family reunion. You will get these types of questions often, so it helps to be prepared.
So, what did I choose to take on the trip after making myself this list? Like a true patron, I appreciated the work the librarian did, but in the end I went with a thriller that has no Bat Mitzvah's.