Adam & Thomas
Translated by Jeffrey Green
Illustrated by Philippe Dumas
Adam and Thomas is the story of two nine-year-old Jewish boys who survive World War II by banding together in the forest. They are alone, visited only furtively, every few days by Mina, a mercurial girl who herself has found refuge from the war by living with a peasant family. She makes secret journeys and brings the boys parcels of food at her own risk.
Adam and Thomas must learn to survive and do. They forage and build a small tree house, although it's more like a bird's nest. Adam's family dog, Miro, manages to find his way to him, to the joy of both boys. Miro brings the warmth of home with him. Echoes of the war are felt in the forest. The boys meet fugitives fleeing for their lives and try to help them. They learn to disappear in moments of danger. And they barely survive winter's harshest weather, but when things seem to be at their worst, a miracle happens.
"Adam and Thomas is at once a finely wrought fable and a realistic tale of survival—a tale of resourcefulness, of friendship, of the kindness of strangers, of the mysterious ways of fate. It’s a book that shows us how sheer will and hope can sustain life in the direst of circumstances. It’s a book that teaches us to marvel at simple miracles: a piece of bread, a sip of milk, the sight of a familiar dog. Most of all it’s a story of generosity, one that suggests that the act of giving may be as necessary to our survival as food or drink. Thank you, Mr. Appelfeld, for the gift of this magical book." —Julie Orringer, author of The Invisible Bridge
HONOR 2016 - Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book
WINNER 2016 - Sydney Taylor Book Award, Association of Jewish Libraries
FINALIST 2016 - National Jewish Book Awards
About Aharon AppelfeldFirst championed in the English language by Irving Howe and Philip Roth, AHARON APPELFELD was born in a village near Czernowitz, Bukovina, in 1932. During World War II, he was deported to a concentration camp in Transnistria, but escaped. He was eight years old. For the next three years, he wandered the forests. In 1944, he was picked up by the Red Army, served in field kitchens in Ukraine, then made his way to Italy. He reached Palestine in 1946. He has written many novels which depict the Holocaust, including Badenheim 1939 (1978) and The Conversion(1998). Today, Appelfield is Professor Emeritus of Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University at Beersheva, a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has won numerous prizes, including the Israel Prize; the MLA Commonwealth Award in Literature; the Prix Médicis étranger in France; the Premio Grinzane Cavour and Premio Boccaccio Internazionale; the Bertha von Suttner Award for Culture and Peace; and the 2012 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. In 2013, he was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize.
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 (University of Georgia Press), as well as short stories, poems, novels, book reviews, and essays.