by Aharon Appelfeld, Translated by Jeffrey Green, Illustrated by Vali Mintzi
The second and last children's book by the extraordinary Holocaust survivor and Hebrew-language author of the award-winning Adam & Thomas.
A mystical and transcendent journey of two wanderers, an eleven-year-old boy and an old man to whom the boy has been entrusted by his father, a Jew, fleeing the ravages of the war by the late award winning author, Aharon Appelfeld. The old man is a former Ukranian commander, revered by the soldiers under his command, who has gone blind and chosen the life of a wanderer as his last spiritual adventure. The child, now disguised as a Ukranian non-Jew, learns from the old man how to fend for himself and how to care for others. In the tradition of The Alchemist, the travelers learn from each other and the boy grows stronger and wiser as the old man teaches him the art of survival and, through the stories he shares, the reasons for living. Long Summer Nights carries its magic not only in the words, but also in the silences between them.
Target age: 8 to 12
"This haunting account of a young Jewish boy in World War II Ukraine embodies both myth and history. . . . The subtlety with which Appelfeld avoids comforting conclusions about human indestructibility in the face of evil is one of the most pro-found achievements of this novel." -- Jewish Book Council
"[A] poignant tale of loss and survival." -Publishers Weekly
About the Author:
Aharon Appelfeld (1932 - 2018) was deported to a concentration camp in Transnistria when he was eight-years-old, during World War II, but escaped and wandered the forests for three years. In 1944, he was picked up by the Red Army, served in field kitchens in Ukraine, then made his way to Italy, and then Palestine. He has won numerous prizes and in 2015 his first book for young readers, Adam & Thomas, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award, was a National Jewish Book Award finalist, and was a 2016 ALA Mildred E. Batchelder Honor Book.
Jeffrey M. Green began to translate for Aharon Appelfeld in the 1980s and has translated a dozen or so of his novels. Green is the author of Thinking Through Translation, as well as short stories, poems, novels, book reviews, and essays.