The Put­ter­mans Are in the House

  • Review
By – January 15, 2024

Sev­enth-grade twins Mat­ty and Sam­my Put­ter­man have always been close — they even share what they call twin telepa­thy.” But late­ly, their bond has been break­ing. Mat­ty has a secret and abrupt­ly quits their beloved base­ball team in the mid­dle of a big game, leav­ing Sam­my con­fused and hurt. Mean­while, the twins’ cousin, Becky, is resent­ful of them: their excel­lent base­ball skills dom­i­nate fam­i­ly con­ver­sa­tions. Becky hopes her upcom­ing bat mitz­vah will put her at the cen­ter of the family’s atten­tion. But when Hur­ri­cane Har­vey hits Hous­ton and their house is dam­aged, the twins — along with their par­ents, grand­par­ents, a neigh­bor, and sev­er­al pets — move in with Becky’s fam­i­ly, which inevitably forces ten­sions and rival­ries to the sur­face. Under one roof dur­ing a dev­as­tat­ing nat­ur­al dis­as­ter, the Put­ter­man kids must con­front the family’s frac­tures and find their way to under­stand one anoth­er. Their pas­sion for the Hous­ton Astros base­ball team pro­vides oppor­tu­ni­ties for fam­i­ly camaraderie.

The sto­ry alter­nates between the per­spec­tives of Sam­my, Mat­ty, and Becky, allow­ing for thought­ful explo­rations of their unique per­son­al­i­ties and expe­ri­ences. Espe­cial­ly poignant is the family’s sup­port­ive response when they learn that Mat­ty is gay.

The Put­ter­mans are a Jew­ish fam­i­ly, and their iden­ti­ty is seam­less­ly inte­grat­ed into the sto­ry. Fans of base­ball will espe­cial­ly enjoy the sports-relat­ed con­tent, and the family’s com­pli­cat­ed yet relat­able dynam­ics will appeal to many mid­dle-grade read­ers. The Put­ter­mans Are in the House is sure to be a fan favorite.

Jil­lian Bietz stud­ied library tech­nol­o­gy and research skills and cur­rent­ly works in the library sys­tem. She is a book review­er for the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and Kirkus Review Indie. Jil­lian lives in South­ern California.

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