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Greenhorn Kindle Edition

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Greenhorn is a tender, touching celebration of friendship, family, and faith. I must admit I cried at the horror and humanity of this simple story. Read it with your arms around someone you love." -Karen Cushman, author of The Midwife's Apprentice and winner of the Newbery Medal

"It's just a tin box. Yet for Daniel it contains a whole world. Greenhorn is a short, simple story that deserves a place among the most distinguished works of Holocaust literature." -Eric A. Kimmel, author of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, a Newbery Honor Book

"Greenhorn brings to colloquial life a chilling aspect of Jewish and world history that the world should not be allowed to forget." -Paul Zelinsky, author of Rapunzel and winner of the Caldecott Medal

"Greenhorn is both a heartwarming and heartrending story of friendship and tragedy in the aftermath of the Holocaust. I highly recommend it." -David Adler, author of Lou Gehrig:The Luckiest Man, named a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book for Nonfiction

"A story to read and discuss with young readers certain to get conversation started on a difficult subject." Steve Sheinkin, author of The Notorious Benedict Arnold and winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction

"This slim, compelling volume, based on the experience of Rabbi Rafael Grossman, feels more like a parable than a memoir, and readers won't want to miss the end matter's touching, humane coda to 'Daniel's' tale, which testifies to his eventual emotional recovery."-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Olswanger's deceptively simple tale can jump-start a discussion of the Holocaust, as well as the repercussions for those who survived and, indeed, for all humanity. A book to be read by adult and child together." --Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Anna Olswanger's Shlemiel Crooks (Junebug Books) is a Sydney Taylor Honor Book and a PJ Library Book. In 2010, the Kaufman Center premiered a family musical based on Shlemiel Crooks at Merkin Hall in New York. Olswanger lives in the metro New York City area and is a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates.

Miriam Nerlove was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has since lived in many places. A graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, she received her master's degree in printmaking from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and worked for a time in the photograph and slide library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Nerlove now concentrates on painting, writing, illustrating, and working part-time at a library. She lives just outside Chicago with her family.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1076 KB
  • Print Length: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Junebug Books (November 30, 2012)
  • Publication Date: November 30, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AG5MU8O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,354,082 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Juan Falcone on July 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In Greenhorn, Anna Olswanger transports her readers back to a time and a place: a yeshiva in Brooklyn in 1946. The author has a careful ear for dialogue, using it to reveal the interests and cultural influences of the adolescent-aged boys at the school. These influences range from the secular (Babe Ruth, Packards) to the religious (Yiddish movies, translating the Gemara). Her rendering of the rabbi's speech and syntax is pitch perfect, too.

Particularly artful is the presentation (again, via dialogue) of the tentative and incomplete understanding which the American-born students of the day had about the events of the just-concluded war in Europe, and its devastating effects upon the orphaned boys from Poland who had just arrived. Their mutual incomprehension, starkly clear in the early going, is gradually bridged as a New Jersey boy, Aaron, reaches out to Daniel, who has arrived from Poland with little more than the clothes on his back and a precious box.

Despite their differences, one factor which unites the two boys is a difficulty in expressing themselves. Daniel's reticence, it seems, may be a combination of a language barrier and perhaps lingering shock at the loss of his family, while Aaron stuggles with a speech impediment. Students coping with shyness or nervousness about public speaking will identify with and draw encouragement from the bond which forms between Aaron and Daniel.

Greenhorn is brought to a crisp ending with a surprise which has been foreshadowed earlier to alert readers. Then, a second surprise: the Afterword propels us 35 years forward, to a real-life encounter in Jerusalem which neatly ties a ribbon around the central prop of the story, Daniel's mysterious box.

If this sounds cinematic, it's intended to. Anna Olswanger's website, which is easy to find, reports that Greenhorn soon will be dramatized in a short film. Readers who enjoyed the book doubtless will want to learn more about its upcoming film version.
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Format: Hardcover
Greenhorn is a story about a young survivor of the Holocaust who is moved to a Brooklyn yeshiva after his family died during the war. He and the other Polish survivors enter the community but the American boys are not very accepting. They don’t have any real idea what happened during the Holocaust and what their new friends went through. The main character, David, is a very quiet child who gets made fun of immediately. He carries around a small metal box that he does not let out of his sight and the rest of the boys think he’s awfully strange. Another student, Aaron, befriends him. Aaron has a stutter and can relate to David’s problems fitting in. The book tells of the growing friendship between the two boys, a friendship that lasts a lifetime. And it deals with the realities of the Holocaust in a manner appropriate for the middle grade reading level.

I liked this book a lot. I don’t have children of my own, but I think it would be a good read for young students learning about the Holocaust and also about the effects of bullying. It is a short, illustrated story that really makes an impact. It teaches about the Holocaust without going into too much detail, giving an overview and focusing on the lives of the survivors.

I would recommend, however, that you read the book before you give it to your child if you have any qualms about their comfort level. Though the book is definitely appropriate for children, there are some hard issues that you might want to be prepared for before your children come to you with questions. For instance, the metal box that David carries around turns out to contain a lump of soap that he believes may have been made from his mother, as well as other concentration camp victims.

This story is based on the true story of David and Aaron and it is a worthwhile read for children and adults alike.

Visit my blog for this review and many more!
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By This Kid Reviews Books on September 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Aaron, a young Jewish boy living in 1946 Brooklyn, attends a yeshiva (boarding school for Jewish boys). When 20 boys who survived the holocaust and came from a concentration camp arrive at the yeshiva, they fit right in. All except one. Daniel barely talked, and he always kept a hold of a small tin box. Daniel goes through relentless teasing from the other boys (except Aaron, who is also teased because of his stutter, and became a friend of Daniel’s) because he would not say what it contained. When the boys get fed up, they manhandle the box away from Daniel. When the rebbe (teacher) walks in on this, he has Daniel open the box (after stopping the boys, of course). It contains a bar of soap. Not a big deal, right? Not quite. Apparently, the Nazis had experimented making soap in the concentration camps. Daniel has it to remember his deceased parents.

This was a well-written nonfiction story about a holocaust concentration camp survivor and the friend he makes in Aaron. But, it is also about so much more. The story is for middle grade readers but it is only 48 pages (with illustrations). The writing was solid and the story was incredible but I would have liked the story to be expanded into a full novel – it was that good and it would be better for kids my age to have more details/backstory. The book is based on a true story. Aaron is a real person (with a different name of course) and I think that I would’ve liked to have met the young Rabbi Rafael Grossman (AKA Aaron). The color illustrations were a nice addition to the story and went well with it. The history taught in the book and the message – is very important. I’d just love to see this as a novel. The publisher has a parent and teacher guide to go along with the story.
*NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
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