In the News:
On Blackberry Hill featured in the Jewish Book Council's "Summer Camp Vibes" book roundup, 2020.
On Blackberry Hill featured in Alma's
"6 Books That Will Take You Right Back to Summer Camp."
Kveller.com hosted a giveaway of On Blackberry Hill.
Read about Rachel's inspiration for setting the novel in a summer camp: "Running on Camp Time" in The Forward.
On Blackberry Hill
Winner of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award for Young Adult Literature
One daughter. One mother. One summer camp.
Twenty years apart.
If only Reena could stay in the city, instead of spending the last summer before high school at her cousin’s Jewish sleepaway camp. From morning prayer to Color War to the social pecking order, she is lost from the start, and her cousin Lila is no ally. While working on her survival skills, Reena begins to find clues of the mother she never knew.
Twenty years earlier, Naomi stands on a dock in the middle of the lake. Just finished with her first year of college, camp feels too small to contain her giant dreams. Her sister Mara is all about finding a man, but Naomi believes something more awaits.
A mysterious, barefoot stranger appears on a hill, offering blessings and songs. Can he guide Naomi to her future? Can he help Reena untangle her past?
'Jewish summer camp is the perfect setting for a multi-generational novel: a daughter connects with her late mother through names etched in the bleachers, murals in the dining hall, and a mysterious stranger. Mann’s compelling story and artful writing make this an excellent read for teens and adults.' - Sarah Bunin Benor, winner, Sami Rohr Choice Award for Jewish Literature, author of Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism
'Whether on the streets of New York or deep in the summer camp woods, Mann ensures the reader is as alive to every sight and sound as her central characters. Not only is the writing exquisite, but it had me in floods of tears by the end. I loved this book and so will you!' - Justine Solomons, Byte the Book
'Mann weaves a poignant tale of loss and discovery that carefully builds to a hopeful, satisfying ending.'
- Wiley Blevins, author
'Explores the knotty relationships between family members in a realistic way without resorting to a sentimental, neatly-tied-up Hallmark ending.' -Association of American Jewish Libraries - AJL Reviews
'Depicts the value of multi-generational familial bonds and the journey towards self-discovery which teens . . . will enjoy reading.'
- Jewish Book Council
'Mann's superb descriptive details about camp life and her ability to convey the difficulties all young people face (without tossing in a traditional happy ending) make the book an excellent read.'
- The Jewish Advocate
'Another YA novel that fully grown adults should have no qualms about reading . . . Come for the references to morning prayers and color wars, stay for all the feels.' - Alma
'Mann creates in Reena and Naomi two intelligent young women whose struggles will resonate with readers.' - The Reporter
'Emotional rollercoaster...so many twists, turns...so many layers. You're peeling an onion the entire time you're reading it, and every layer gets better and better. This book is beautiful. Five stars.'
- The Inside Story
Check out more great reviews from readers on Amazon.
'Thanks so much for talking to our group today. We all felt it was a special experience to talk to the author of a book we read. And it was even more special because we are a group of mothers and daughters talking about a book about mothers and daughters, and you had your daughter with you! Thanks for writing such a fun, interesting book.' - S, Mother-Daughter
Book Club, Los Angeles, CA