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Run, Boy, Run


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About the Author

Uri Orlev was born in Warsaw in 1931. In 1996, Uri Orlev received the the highest international recognition given to an author of children's books. He now lives in Jerusalem.


Orlev (The Island on Bird Street), an award-winning writer and Holocaust survivor who now lives in Israel, devotes this memorable novel to the extraordinary true story of an orphaned Jewish boy's experiences in Poland during the war. As in most such tales, eight-year-old Srulik's account combines encounters with the unfathomably cruel and the genuinely charitable. Readers who have some familiarity with Holocaust memoirs will not be surprised by stunning coincidences and improbable events; others may grasp that survival against nearly insuperable odds depended on not one but many unlikely twists of fate. For example, Srulik-who escapes from the Warsaw Ghetto toward the beginning of the novel, survives in the forest, works for farmers and learns to pass for Christian-is later turned in to the Nazis and runs away; when he finds work again, his new boss brings him to town to register him (for the benefit of increased rations) and unwittingly delivers Srulik back to the same Nazi officer who had interrogated him. But the officer, who knows Srulik is Jewish, doesn't arrest him; rather, he sends him to work for his girlfriend. Later, when Srulik's arm is mangled on the job, a Polish doctor refuses to operate because Srulik is a Jew, and Srulik's arm must eventually be amputated. Srulik's response typifies his reactions throughout: he doesn't have the luxury of assessing his losses, or mourning them, he simply figures out how to manage with what he has left. It is this perspective-authentic, childlike and wrenching-that will pierce the audience's heart. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Gr 5-8-Based on true-life experiences, this survival story about a Jewish boy in Warsaw during World War II reverberates with courage and determination. It begins when Srulik is eight years old. As he emerges from a garbage can after foraging for scraps to eat, he discovers that his mother has disappeared. He is alone in a world filled with danger. He begins his struggle to survive without any bravura, just an unspoken decision that he will do whatever is necessary. This is his single-minded focus; he expends little energy bemoaning his fate. He acts on his father's advice not to let others know that he is Jewish as he is taken in by families, works on farms, hides out in the forest, and narrowly escapes discovery. Even after he is wounded and loses an arm, he perseveres and teaches himself to do things that normally require two arms. Though his character lacks emotional depth, the story is totally engrossing as it vividly describes the hardships faced by so many youngsters during the war. Orlev has once again successfully used historical fiction to illustrate the Holocaust experience.-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"The novel has obvious relevance fro studies of the Holocaust." KLIATT 11/01/07 KLIATT

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