Stories from the Stoop is available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audio versions.
Stories from the Stoop features seven unforgettable true-life adventures; stories told with humor, grit, and candor that will fill you with hope and remind us that we are all in this together.
Within these pages, you’ll see life from a new perspective—through the eyes of a young boy—straight from his 1960’s Bronx stoop. This small piece of real estate made of granite, memories and dreams, his window to the world.
It was Steve Bernstein’s fortuitous and profound friendships—many of which crossed boundaries of race, gender, and religion—that enabled him to navigate these tumultuous times and develop a hopeful perspective on life. Without his dog, Wolf, Steve would not have survived the wrath of a street gang. On the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, it was Anthony who recognized how dangerous it was for Steve (the only white kid on the basketball court that April evening) to be outshooting hoops. An epic bike trip with Joe breathed life into Steve’s dream to be free, a lifelong friendship that only 9/11 could extinguish.
Stories from the Stoop is a triumphant and tender coming of age journey that will capture your heart and feed your soul. Steve’s voice, spare and street smart, resonates across age and ethnicity, to offer the possibility that life circumstances need not predict destiny. All you have to do is find enough courage, compassion and chutzpah to win out.
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK
“When I was nine and my sister Amy was twelve, my mom sat us down in our living room, which also served as the dinette and our parents’ bedroom, and announced, ‘I can no longer be your mother’.”
“I wasn’t quite awake, wasn’t asleep either when I heard the yelling and screaming. It was around midnight. I knew it was my dad. I hopped off the top bunk and found myself half dressed with my Louisville Slugger in my hand.”
“Wolf was all I had in the world to help me survive what I was starting to believe was my last day. I walked back to the stoop, the neighbors watching, eagerly waiting for the show to begin. I was in agony.
As I stood waiting on the sidewalk, I had to hold Wolf’s leash tight and pull up hard on his neck with a steady pressure while he sat, glued to my side. My mind was clear, my heart was racing. I was sweating just a little. I blocked out everything around me and just stood there, solid, outwardly emotionless in front of my stoop, leaning with my back against the brick column, pulling upward on the leash with all my strength, keeping Wolf sitting upright, the chain wrapped double around my fist, Wolf, literally attached at my hip. Both of us frozen, him with his tongue hanging out to the side, his teeth in a snarl, his eyes, one blue, one brown, looking wild and crazy. An image of toughness, real or contrived, maybe a little of both. We just waited.”
COMMENTS FROM READERS
“Touching! Creative! Hopeful!”
Workshop Participant, H.S Counselor
“I listened to the audiobook, and was captivated from start to finish. The book is brutally honest, yet hopeful.”
“Your book made me realize, I want to write too.”Workshop Participant, H.S Student
“This book brought me to tears and to belly laughter!”Amazon Buyer
“An uplifting story of hope, courage and loss as a young man strives to overcome personal obstacles and navigate societal change during the late 60’s, “A wonder years bronx style.” Steve’s devotion to his family, friends and neighborhood are reminders, there are everyday heros among us.”Amazon Buyer
“I laughed, I cried . . . sharing his experiences with us expands our collective humanity and inspires us to be our best selves.”Amazon Buyer
“A captivating read from start to finish. This story is filled with colorful, vibrant and heartwarming characters that you will want to know better, I know I do. Steve Bernstein is a master storyteller.”Amazon Buyer
“Mister, if books are like this, I’m gonna start reading”Workshop Participant, H.S. Student
“He shares humor and heartbreak beautifully without an ounce of schmaltz or self pity.”Amazon Buyer
“I see the story in my head when you read mister.”
Workshop Participant, H.S. Student
“These stories are so authentic and moving, I couldn’t put it down. They bring back and incredibly important moment in New York city history and the history of our country.”Amazon Buyer
“I don’t know where to start on this book except it is a truly magical piece. Every story is full of adventure, grabbing your attention with full force.”Amazon Buyer
“I see the story in my head when you read mister.”Workshop Participant, H.S. Student
“With Steve, you feel the Bronx of the 1960’s. Sharp and Brilliant. You are there. All of your senses are triggered by his rich descriptive writing. A classic.”Amazon Buyer