Calling Cobber by Sheri Sinykin
Eleven-year-old Jacob ‘Cobber’ Stern has the world on his shoulders. He is still grieving for his mother six years after her death; frustrated by his distant workaholic father; abandoned by his best friend Boolkie, who now has to study for his bar mitzvah; and overwhelmed by his sense of responsibility for his ailing almost one-hundred-year-old great-grandfather, Papa-Ben. On top of that, Boolkie is pressuring him to perform his magic act at the school talent show, a terrifying prospect given how badly wrong that went last time Cobber performed at school.
As Cobber navigates the multiple challenges of his life, he learns more about the people around him: why his father works so hard and Boolkie’s reasons for having a bar mitzvah. In the process, he begins to understand more about himself and the threads that bind them all together. And as events force him to negotiate his complicated relationship with Judaism, he begins to see what it means to those he is closest to, and what it could mean to him.
Calling Cobber is about making decisions, answering life’s big questions, and working out how to process the past in order look to the future. Full of warmth and compassion and at once funny, emotional and profound, it is a touching, thought-provoking story of grief, faith, family and friendship.
Year first published: 2020