Friday, December 11, 2015

Adam and Thomas

Adam and Thomas. Aharon Appelfeld. Translated by Jeffrey Green. 2015. Triangle Square. 160 pages. [Source: Library]

Adam & Thomas by Aharon Appelfeld is newly translated into English by Jeffrey M. Green. And, if you're like me, and seek to read as many World War II books as possible in any given year, it's worth seeking out.

The book opens with Adam and his mother in the forest. She's leaving him, leaving him with a promise that she'll return when it's safe, but ultimately leaving him on his own. He doesn't stay on his own, however, for later that same day he finds another boy his own age whose mother had also brought him to the forest. His name is Thomas. The two boys are quite different from one another. But they're both Jewish, both seeking to escape the ghetto before it is liquidated, both unsure of the future. Though Adam is a positive thinker if ever there was one.

Can the two boys survive the horrors of both war and nature in the forest? Will they find enough food to eat in the forest? What about in winter? How will they stay warm? Dare they try to light a fire?

"Enjoyed" is such a wrong word given the context and content of this one. But I found it a quick, overall hopeful read. I liked Thomas and his dreams. I liked Adam and his resourcefulness and hope. I liked how these two made a point of helping others who fled into the forest to try to escape the Nazis.

I also liked Miro and Mina. Mina is another Jewish girl hiding out in the country. Miro is Adam's oh-so-loyal dog that tracks him down after several weeks or months and joins the boys in the forest.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Jordan Conner 7:40 AM  

Oh man.... stories about dogs always simultaneously makes me want to read it and avoid it at all cost. I find myself becoming more worried about the animals more than the characters!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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