Books by Barbara Cohen

MAKE A WISH, MOLLY by Barbara Cohen
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1994

In a companion to Molly's Pilgrim (1983), Molly Hyman—still in third grade and still struggling to adjust to American customs- -attends her first birthday party, only to be hideously embarrassed: since it's Passover, she can't eat any of the elegant cake and is thus exposed to the scorn and prejudice of her nemesis, Elizabeth. But Molly's own birthday, several days later, is unexpectedly happy: there's a surprise visit from the friends she'd feared lost, while snide Elizabeth is put in her place (at least temporarily) by resourceful Mrs. Hyman. Slightly longer and more complex than Molly's Pilgrim, the story is given added depth by totally believable portraits of Molly's strong, level-headed mother and of Elizabeth as a carrier of inherited bigotry, while Jones's misty gray drawings show more mature and individualized characters. Altogether, a worthy continuation of a justly celebrated story. (Picture book. 6-9) Read full book review >
213 VALENTINES by Barbara Cohen
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

Reluctantly bused to a program for gifted children, Wade is one of two black kids in his fourth grade; the other is Dink, girl and known nerd. Neither is made particularly welcome by the more privileged children in their new class, most of whom already know each other; even the teacher lacks warmth, and is oblivious to the social and economic pressures exerted by traditional Halloween or Valentine's celebrations. Though Wade is soon respected as a math whiz, he's so busy building defenses that he rejects all tentative proffers of friendship; he does sit with Dink at lunch to avoid being alone. Since Valentine's Day promises to be especially painful—he's sure that only the person who draws his name will give him a card—he decides to send masses of them to himself. Fortunately, Dink's patient courtesy and help make him reconsider; when the day comes, he generously distributes his valentines to family, class, and the pediatric ward where his aunt works—plus 50 to a delighted Dink. Neither preaching nor sugar coating, Cohen tells her story with practiced ease. Her characterizations may be not deep, but they're realistic and individual; wondering whether Ward will really carry through with his misguided attempt to save face holds interest to the end. Good additional fare. (Fiction. 7-10)*justify no* Read full book review >