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The Entertainer and the Dybbuk Hardcover – August 21, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Motivated, as he explains in his afterword, to create a personal remembrance of the 1.5 million Jewish children killed in the Holocaust, Fleischman pairs Freddie, a struggling, ex-GI ventriloquist, with Avron, the ghost of one such victim, in a short, provocative tale that leavens the tears with laughter. Freddie's career isn't exactly taking off as he wanders postwar Europe—until he opens a closet and discovers smart-mouthed Avron, who offers to put a better line of patter into Freddie's mouth in exchange for help finding a certain murderous SS officer. Countering Freddie's understandable reluctance with both gags and gut-wrenching war stories, Avron moves in, and Freddie begins to display stunning vocal tricks to ever-larger audiences. Avron then cajoles his host into keeping kosher, and even undergoing an ersatz (or is it?) bar mitzvah. Ultimately, the search takes the two to America, where in a satisfying (if credulity-straining) climax, they find their quarry standing trial for a new crime, and Avron exacts a triumphant revenge for the old ones. The narrative voice here sounds adult, but the talented Fleischman is still both entertaining and thoughtful. Avron's wisecracking will counterbalance matter-of-fact accounts of Nazi cruelty for young readers, but it's likely to be older ones who will best appreciate the novel's eloquent "inner voice" of conscience, which takes on a definite symbolic cast, and the way in which Freddie's public and private identities shift as the story progresses. Peters, John

About the Author

Since his autobiography, The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life, was published in 1996, Sid Fleischman has been stealing the spotlight with his exuberant brand of nonfiction. Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World is Fleischman's fourth true tale, following the widely acclaimed The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West and the best-selling Escape! The Story of The Great Houdini.

Fleischman's books have been made into films, performed as plays, and translated into nineteen languages. The author was awarded the Newbery Medal for The Whipping Boy. His most recent novel is The Dream Stealer. Sid Fleischman lives in Santa Monica, California.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 6 - 9
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (August 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061344451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061344459
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,015,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Since his autobiography, The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life, was published in 1996, Sid Fleischman has been stealing the spotlight with his exuberant brand of nonfiction. Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World is Fleischman's fourth true tale, following the widely acclaimed The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West and the best-selling Escape! The Story of The Great Houdini.
Fleischman's books have been made into films, performed as plays, and translated into nineteen languages. The author was awarded the Newbery Medal for The Whipping Boy.
Sid Fleischman lives in Santa Monica, California.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
He addressed the issue well, and resolved it in an amazing way.
N. Barnard White
I gave this book five stars because I think Fleischman did about as good as one could do having chosen the literary destination he did.
Steve Reina
It is an excellent, fun read and Sid Fleishman is to be applauded for his contribution to American literature.
Kay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mamaseta on September 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This story is so well written that my 8-year-old son didn't want me to put the book down until all the facts and details were known. Sid Fleischman keeps you invested in finding out more about the plight and connection between an American ventriloquist and the spirit of a young Jewish boy. This is an astonishing story about differences and justice. A must read for young and old.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kay on June 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book combines an American, a young Jewish teen, objective, unsentimental descriptions of what happened to children in WWII, a dose of modern Jewish slang, and an education about Jewish customs and culture all wrapped in a funny easy-to-read story. After reading over a dozen books on the Holocaust, I chose this one to teach to seventh graders. They loved the book and couldn't wait to continue reading. There were several lessons that I could construct from the book relevant to current youth including the practice of "passing" as someone you are not (racially or otherwise) to avoid ridicule or discrimination. The book is far more than a children's book on the Holocaust. It is an excellent, fun read and Sid Fleishman is to be applauded for his contribution to American literature.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on November 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is about a normal ventriloquist...not! He meets a Jewish demon called a Dybbuk. It helps him greatly with his act but it almost ruins his personal life. The Dybbuk was murdered in World War 2 by a general who is running lose in the world. Will they catch up with the general and convicted him on the crimes he committed?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
SId Fleishman is a supurb writer. This story obviously involved his emotions profoundly so it is not his usual light humor. I would have liked to know that it wasn't his usual genre.

The story has a setting relating to the holocaust. Children need to know about this tragic part of our world history, but not at a young age, and many of Fleishman's readers are young because of his imaginative appeal. I have purchased multiple copies of many of his books for distribution to grandchildren. I have not done so with this book. Like Mark Twain's Joan Of Arc, the author intended it to be one of his best works. He addressed the issue well, and resolved it in an amazing way.
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By batphobic on November 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Couldn't stop reading it and I did this for a book report this book was so so so so good
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