Anna Olswanger’s new children’s book Greenhorn, about a young Holocaust survivor who transforms a Brooklyn yeshiva, is now in stores. Olswanger is the award-winning author of Shlemiel Crooks, and already her newest book, a touching volume featuring full-color illustrations by Miriam Nerlove, has earned praise from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and ForeWord Reviews. This just in: a review from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. which calls Greenhorn “compelling,” “touching,” and “humane.”
From the Bulletin:
The war is finally over, and the boys at Aaron’s Brooklyn yeshiva are more interested in basketball and comic books than world affairs. Into their tight-knit circle comes Daniel, an orphaned Holocaust survivor, who, along with twenty other Polish refugees, will be sharing already crowded dorm space with the American boys. Daniel is quiet, obviously bright, and strangely attached to a metal box that he carries by day and keeps under his pillow at night. Aaron, who stutters, empathizes with the odd outsider, but the other boys are rougher and swipe the box to examine its contents. What they first mistake as a greasy rock is actually a brick of soap, which Daniel believes may have been rendered from the remains of his parents who perished in a concentration camp. 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. Full-page watercolors with an air of picture-book innocence, combined with a light page count, may attract young readers, but children who have already been apprised of Nazi atrocities will be better prepared to grapple with the revelation of Daniel’s heartbreaking keepsake.