Each year when I fast on Yom Kippur, I think of Charlotte, the second-to youngest sister of Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family series. Charlotte only lasted until lunch before Mama insisted she wait until she was a big girl to fast all day, but her morning of fasting was serious business both for Charlotte and for me. The All-of-a-Kind Family girls were proudly, triumphantly Jewish, and they made it seem fun! When my stomach growls in the middle of my yearly fast, I conjure up Charlotte, and now that I am a big girl, I make it through to the end.
Lisa Pilar Cowan, 27 years old, is the daughter of authors Rabbi Rachel Cowan and the late Paid Cowan. She lives in Somerville, MA and works in an adolescent health clinic. Reading remains a way to figure out “who I am and what I want to do.”