Barbara Wesba

Barbara Wesba, author of Young Adult books such as Tunes For A Small Harmonica, which were among the first to explore topics like alcoholism and same-sex relationships, died on Feb. 18 in Englewood, N.J. She was 85. Ms. Wersba began writing in the 1960s, and her work reflected the era’s new realism in literature for younger readers with stories no longer confined to intact nuclear families and sanitized goings-on like prom nights. Some of her frank themes generated criticism; others generated praise. These topics are common in YA novels today, but it is important to remember those who helped to shape the genre. 22wersba-1-blog427

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