Barbara Cohen

Barbara Cohen (1932–1992) was an American author of children's literature.

Personal life

Cohen graduated from Barnard College (BA, 1954) and from Rutgers University (MA, 1957). She taught high school English in several cities in New Jersey, and wrote a long-running newspaper column entitled "Books and Things." She and her husband Gene had three daughters, Leah, Sara, and Rebecca.[1]

She was a resident of Bridgewater Township, New Jersey.[2]


She wrote more than thirty books in a range of genres, from picture books (The Carp in the Bathtub, 1972) to retellings of Biblical stories (e.g., The Binding of Isaac, 1978; David, 1995) to classical literature (Four Canterbury Tales, 1987) to young adult dystopias (Unicorns in the Rain, 1980).

She was recognized several times for her work, being awarded the Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award (1980) and the Sydney Taylor Picture Book Award (1981).

Among her other books are,:[3][4]

  • Thank You, Jackie Robinson (1974) - companion to R—My Name is Rosie and The Innkeeper’s Daughter
  • Bitter Herbs and Honey (1976)
  • Where's Florrie? (1976)
  • Benny (1977)
  • R—My Name is Rosie (1978) - companion to The Innkeeper's Daughter and Thank You, Jackie Robinson
  • The Innkeeper's Daughter (1979)- autobiographical fiction, companion to Thank You, Jackie Robinson and R—My Name is Rosie
  • Lovely Vassilisa (1980)
  • I Am Joseph (1980)
  • Fat Jack (1980)
  • Yussel's Prayer: a Yom Kippur Story (1981)
  • Queen for a Day (1981)
  • Gooseberries to oranges (1982)
  • King of the Seventh Grade (1982)
  • Seven Daughters and Seven Sons (1982)
  • The demon who would not die (1982)
  • Lovers' Games (1983)
  • Molly's Pilgrim (1983)
  • Here Come the Purim Players (1984)
  • Roses (1984)
  • The Secret Grover (1985)
  • The Donkey's Story: a Bible Story (1985)
  • Coasting (1985)
  • Even Higher (1987)- a retelling of If Not Higher by Isaac Leib Peretz
  • First Fast (1987)
  • Four Canterbury Tales (1987)
  • The Christmas Revolution (1987)- companion to The Long Way Home
  • The Orphan Game (1988)
  • People Like Us (1989)
  • Tell Us Your Secret (1989)
  • The Long Way Home (1990) - companion to The Christmas Revolution
  • 213 Valentines (1991)
  • Make a Wish, Molly (1994)
  • Robin Hood and Little John (1995)
  • The Chocolate Wolf (1996)


  1. "Barbara Cohen," Jewish Women's Archive Encyclopedia
  2. Tomasson, Robert E. "Chronicle: Angel, of the Flying Wallendas, is back in the hospital; A covey of writing Jerseeyans enters the state's Literary Hall of Fame", The New York Times, August 15, 1991. Accessed September 4, 2019. "Ms. Cohen, the author of 34 children's books and winner of an Academy Award for the screenplay of her book Molly's Pilgrims, lives in Bridgewater."
  3. Barbara Cohen books on WorldCat
  4. Barbara Cohen bibliography at Scholastic
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