Sons of the 613 (Hardcover)
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Isaac's parents have abandoned him for a trip to Italy in the final days before his bar mitzvah. And even worse, his hotheaded older brother, Josh, has been left in charge. An undefeated wrestler, MMA fighter, and bar brawler, Josh claims to be a "Son of the 613"—a man obedient to the six hundred and thirteen commandments in the Tanakh—and he has the tattoo to prove it. When Josh declares that there is more to becoming a man than memorization, the mad "quest" begins for Isaac. From jumping off cliffs and riding motorcycles, to standing-up to school bullies and surviving the potentially fatal Final Challenge, Josh puts Isaac through a punishing gauntlet that only an older brother could dream up. But when Isaac begins to fall for Josh's girlfriend, Leslie, the challenges escalate from bad to worse in this uproarious coming-of-age comedy.
About the Author
Michael Rubens is a producer and correspondent for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. In addition to The Bad Decisions Playlist he has published two novels: The Sheriff of Yrnameer (Pantheon), and Sons of the 613 (Clarion). His fourth novel is slated for publication in June of 2017. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, HuffPost Comedy and Salon. He was previously a producer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and was for a very brief period the world’s least effective bouncer. Visit him online at www.michaelrubens.com and on Twitter @michaelsrubens.
"This is a book every bar-mitzvah boy will want to steal . . . Everyone should read it the moment he becomes a man."
—Kirkus, starred review
"Rubens creates a funny, frank portrayal of adolescent humiliation and the trouble with older brothers."
"Rubens neatly gets inside Isaac's head, and although there's something to offend almost everyone here, there's also plenty to think—and laugh—about as well."
"Rubens captures the nerdy geekiness of middle-school-aged boys in short and snappy, cleverly formatted chapters rich with sarcasm, humor, and pathos."
—School Library Journal —