Daniel, a young Holocaust survivor, arrives at a New York yeshiva in 1946. He is carrying a small box, his only possession. Daniel rarely talks, but the story’s narrator, a stutterer taunted by the other boys, comes to consider Daniel his friend. What’s in the box is a mystery. Daniel never lets it out of his sight, but he won’t talk about it, either. The boys at the yeshiva are impatient with his secret. Only Aaron, the stutterer, reaches out to Daniel, and through their friendship, both boys find their “voice.” Based on a true story, Greenhorn gives human dimension to the Holocaust. It poignantly underscores our flawed humanity and speaks to the healing value of friendship.
“Greenhorn is a tender, touching celebration of friendship, family, and faith. I must admit I cried at the horror and humanity of this simple story. Read it with your arms around someone you love.” -Karen Cushman, author of The Midwife’s Apprentice and winner of the Newbery Medal”
It’s just a tin box. Yet for Daniel it contains a whole world. Greenhorn is a short, simple story that deserves a place among the most distinguished works of Holocaust literature.” -Eric A. Kimmel, author of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, a Newbery Honor Book
“Greenhorn brings to colloquial life a chilling aspect of Jewish and world history that the world should not be allowed to forget.” -Paul Zelinsky, author of Rapunzel and winner of the Caldecott Medal
“Greenhorn is both a heartwarming and heartrending story of friendship and tragedy in the aftermath of the Holocaust. I highly recommend it.” -David Adler, author of Lou Gehrig:The Luckiest Man, named a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book for Nonfiction
“A story to read and discuss with young readers certain to get conversation started on a difficult subject.” Steve Sheinkin, author of The Notorious Benedict Arnold and winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction
“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.”-The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Olswanger’s deceptively simple tale can jump-start a discussion of the Holocaust, as well as the repercussions for those who survived and, indeed, for all humanity. A book to be read by adult and child together.” —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Anna Olswanger’s Shlemiel Crooks (Junebug Books) is a Sydney Taylor Honor Book and a PJ Library Book. In 2010, the Kaufman Center premiered a family musical based on Shlemiel Crooks at Merkin Hall in New York. Olswanger lives in the metro New York City area and is a literary agent.
Miriam Nerlove was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has since lived in many places. A graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, she received her master’s degree in printmaking from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and worked for a time in the photograph and slide library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Nerlove now concentrates on painting, writing, illustrating, and working part-time at a library. She lives just outside Chicago with her family.