Teaching reading and writing in the NYC Public Schools was rewarding . Working with students that were not great readers and encouraging them to enjoy and embrace print was my greatest reward as an educator. Students that were nonreaders in September became avid and fluent and proficient readers by the end of the year and sometimee before. Writing their own version of short stories and classics was one thing that they loved to do. Adding a twist to Dracula or the Invisible Man or just writing a funny story brought smiles to their faces and made them feel like real authors.
Writing children's books is something new to me. My first book is My Name is Bertha and my second is Bertha Speaks Out. These are true stories about my life growing up in the Bronx. I was always over weight and a total klutz. I was picked on by family members and friends for not begin able to do sports or even dance. I wrote these stories to tell children that who they are is just fine and not to judge people by their weight, their outward appearance or how well they play baseball. It is your kindness and intelligence and friendship that matters. Bertha has a sense of humor that is great and she uses it and her smarts to get through these and many other situations in both books. My third book Bertha Fights Back I hope to get published soon and it is a chapter book dealing with real life issues kids face in Middle School today. It includes hate crimes, some mean kids that do things to Bertha that might lead her astray. But, in the end she learns her lesson but not before having to deal with difficult problems that she created by not being true to herself and who she really is.
Before she passed away my aunt, Tova, made me promise her to write these stories and share my writing with children and adults. I have kept my promise and hope to write even more Bertha books.
I am also reviewing books for authors upon request. I love reading books by other authors and in different genres.