"Wake up," my friend Annie warned me. "The world is coming to an end."
It was the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. I was due to fly east on Friday, to launch my paperback book tour. But first, I switched on the television -- just in time to see the second plane crash into the World Trade Center.
How could I explain what was happening to my kids -- at ages 7 and 10?
I used to worry that my children, growing up in Los Angeles, would never appreciate the reality of antisemitism as I did, growing up in the shadow of the Holocaust. I was in first grade in religious school when Mr. Sherf showed us the number tattooed on his arm and read us the poems written by the children of the Terezin concentration camp.
"He doesn't know the world at all
Who stays in his nest and doesn't go out.
He doesn't know what birds know best
Nor what I want to sing about,
That the world is full of loveliness.