As a child, my reading material was mainly Little Women, The Bobbsey Twins, and other stories about good Christian girls. Then I started to dip into the adult books behind the locked glass doors in the secretary desk. There I discovered The Old Bunch by Meyer Levin, that bawdy (for the Thirties), irreverent look at a Jewish neighborhood. I don’t remember the details of the plot.
My sense is that it was totally inappropriate for an eleven-year old. But it was the first book I had ever read about Jews and girls who thought of sex. This book was about me. I loved it.
Barbara Brenner has written more than 70 books for children and adults. A Year in the Life of Rosie Bernard is based on her experiences as the orphaned child of a religiously mixed marriage. Her latest work is Chibi (Clarion).