Some of you know the book I am working on is a contemporary story about a girl who faces anti-semitism in elementary school and middle school. I woke up this morning and realized I need to make changes because after the event in Pittsburgh yesterday, my main character’s reactions have changed.
Yesterday when bullies used words to make fun of her, she was upset, but could live with it,
Today she is scared they will use more than words.
Yesterday they threw money at her and she thought that was annoying and stupid.
Today she’s scared they won’t stop at throwing money.
Yesterday they painted swastikas on the side of buildings and she saw that as a personal attack.
Today she understands they aren’t just attacking her, they‘re targeting all Jews.
Yesterday when they sent her a text showing her family in a gas chamber, she destroyed her phone.
Today she’s afraid they will try to set fire to her house.
Yesterday her synagogue was her one safe place. She went there every Saturday.
Today she fears that someone will come to her synagogue with a gun.
Yesterday she walked inside her synagogue with the backpack she used for her sleepover.
Today that bag will probably be checked or she won’t be able to bring it at all.
Yesterday as these things were happening to her, she kept silent, afraid telling people would only make things worse.
Today she will still stay silent, because she is not sure that anything will change and she’s scared things will get worse. But she also hopes and prays that something will happen soon to make her feel differently.
Yesterday I hoped I would get a new agent who would find an editor who wanted to publish my story.
Today, I hope that agents and editors will find more stories like this to publish, because we need these stories and right now kids can only find anti-semitism in Holocaust books -
and on the news.