"Who wouldn't want to belong to the Dreamland Social Club?" I wrote ten years ago in a review of Tara Altebrando's book set in Coney Island. "In this novel for teenage readers, the club is an unofficial group frequented by a freaky clique at Coney Island High School. Among its members is Babette, a goth dwarf who befriends the novel's 16-year-old heroine Jane with the explanation: 'You seem cool. And you've got carny blood, even if it's highly diluted.' "
During the pandemic, Tara and her husband Nick began adapting the novel into a stage musical with her 13-year-old daughter singing the part of the main character Jane. I caught up with the author via Zoom and recorded her oral history for the Coney Island History Project. You can listen to the interview here.