Book Review: Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger

October 12, 2013 - Book Reviews / Interesting stuff

I’ve been meaning to read this book ever since the Love MG Actually project in February, but it took a post I saw in which the author was talking about the possible film for me to decide I needed to read it and also talk about the funding of the film.

The blurb:  Greenhorn is an illustrated middle grade novel about a young Holocaust survivor who arrives at a Brooklyn yeshiva in the 1940s with only a small box that he won’t let out of his sight.

Greenhorn is a short book (46 pages or so) that tells of the arrival of a young boy, Daniel, at the Jewish school in Brooklyn in 1946.  He is a refugee from Germany and his parents have presumably been killed in a concentration camp.  He is befriended by Aaron, a boy with a lisp and a lot of goodwill, which unfortunately leads him to be the one picked on by the other boys in his class.  And since they are boarders, that means at any time of the day or night.

I’ve lived in a couple of Jewish areas in London, so have picked up some of the terminology, but there is also a handy guide to some of the words and concepts which I found very useful.

There are a range of issues that can be discussed in this book.  For some readers it might be their first brush with Judaism or with the Holocaust, or other issues such as bullying, or the need to have something as a security blanket, or the issue of friendship and what that means.  There are very good educators’ and discussion guides that accompany the book, and since I don’t usually get to see those I was as fascinated by the contents as I was by the book.

It’s a good story that will resonate with adults and introduce children to a world outside their cosy existence, if they are lucky enough to have a settled family life and home.  But it should be handled with care.

Anna Olswanger is excited that there is interest in a film of the book.  The big part is the funding of such a project.

There’s lots of information on the film project website: http://www.olswanger.com/greenhorn/filmproject.shtml

They are trying to get the funding in place by the end of December, so any mentions you could give them would be wonderful.  They are thinking about doing a Kickstarter campaign as well.  If you know anyone that might be interested in funding the project, or contributing to it, do put them in touch with Anna and her team!

Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger

I received a free eformat copy from the author in return for an honest review.  The views expressed here are entirely my own.

Part of the Kid LIt Blog Hop

› tags: Anna Olswanger / Greenhorn / Holocaust / judaism / mglit /

Comments

  1. This sounds like a delightful book and I plan to read it, even though I am stuck in mystery mode. I have been meaning to ask you if you have ever read My Father’s Dragon. It was one of my son’s favorite stories way back when he was a kid!

  2. Julie Grasso says:

    Hi Jemima
    I really enjoyed your take on this book. I reviewed it quite some time ago and was totally moved by the story. I did feel some concern about how confronting the topic is for children, but I guess that is the horror of it, war is horrific. Thanks so much for joining us on the Kid Lit Blog Hop

  3. Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews says:

    Oh how exciting that the book may be made into a movie. It is definitely a very moving book but it’s very well done. Thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

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