Title: The Very First
Genre: Upper MG historical fiction
When German-born Katherine Brandt immigrates in 1938, her dearest wish is to become a real American girl. She even accepts the American nickname Sparky to try to gain acceptance. But before she can realize her dream, she’s going to have to learn the ins and outs of the unusual town and group of friends she’s joined.
Sparky is taken under the wing of Cinnimin Filliard, who teaches her a thing or two about American life and their strange Atlantic City neighborhood. Sparky wants to believe Cinni is steering her right, but Cinni has some conflicting attitudes. Cinni is nice and intelligent, but she often assumes a superior attitude just because she was voted Most Popular Girl. In particular, she seems to hate their rich neighbor Violet, whom Cinni is convinced is after her title.
Sparky will do almost anything to fit in, except compromise her Judaism. She longs to be Sparky to her friends while remaining Kätchen to her family and staying true to her values. Along the way, Cinni, who tries to tempt her into wearing shorter skirts and eating non-kosher food, slowly begins realizing that there’s more than one acceptable way to be a real American. Only one thing is for certain—on Sparky’s upcoming birthday, she’s going to wish to be a real American girl, and she wants that wish to come true, even if she has to make some modifications she once thought she’d never make.
THE VERY FIRST, a work of upper MG historical fiction with elements of social satire, is complete at 60,000 words.
I have a BA from [redacted] in history and Russian and Eastern European Studies,with a focus on 20th century Russian history and the World War II/Shoah era,and worked in the production room of an Albany, NY-based newspaper, The Jewish World, for five years, writing, researching, and proofreading articles.
Thank you for your time and attention.