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Oskar and the Eight Blessings
Contributor(s): Simon, Tanya (Author), Simon, Richard (Author), Siegel, Mark (Illustrator)

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ISBN: 1596439491     ISBN-13: 9781596439498
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
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Binding Type: Hardcover
Published: September 2015
Qty:

Annotation: A young refugee from Nazi Germany walks the length of Manhattan with a photograph and an address for an aunt he has never met on a wintry night in 1938 that is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, and receives eight small acts of kindness along the course of his journey.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Historical - Holocaust
- Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations - Hanukkah
- Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations - Christmas & Advent
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2015005061
Age Level: 4-8
Grade Level: Preschool-3
Lexile Measure: 570 AD (Adult Directed Text)
Physical Information: 0.4" H x 11" W x 8.8" (1.00 lbs) 40 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 176661
Reading Level: 2.9   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Siegel, Mark: -

Mark Siegel was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised in France. He graduated from Brown and lives in New York.

Mark is the author and illustrator of several award-winning picture books and graphic novels, including Seadogs, Long Night Moon, To Dance, Moving House, and Sailor Twain, which author John Irving called "a gripping novel with compelling characters, enhanced by haunting, erotically charged artwork." Mark's latest project is the collaborative graphic novel 5 Worlds, an epic science-fiction series for young readers. The New York Times Book Review hails it as " . . . a bang-zoom start to a series that promises to be epic in both the classical and internet senses of the word. . . this is a capital-S Saga."


Mark is also the founder, and Creative and Editorial Director of First Second Books, Macmillan's graphic novel house. First Second offers an ambitious collection in every age category, in a wide range of themes and styles, with talent from all over the world. First Second has garnered an unmatched array of literary awards, starred reviews and bestsellers--including for the original works of National Book Award Finalist and Printz Winner Gene Luen Yang, and beloved bestselling titles such as This One Summer, Real Friends, Spill Zone, The Adventure Zone and many more. Mark has appeared before thousands of librarians and educators to speak about the graphic novel renaissance.

Mark has given lectures and workshops internationally and all around North America, for authors, artists, librarians, students, executives in many venues, at tradeshows, companies, Comic Cons, and animation studios, including Blue Sky, Dreamworks, Disney, and Pixar, for both creative and executives.


More at www.marksiegelbooks

Simon, Tanya: - Tanya Simon (with her husband, Richard Simon) is a co-author of the children's novel Zora and Me, winner of a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. She and her husband live in Westchester, New York.Simon, Richard: - Richard Simon and Tanya Simon are a husband-and-wife writing team. Richard is chair of the language department at an independent school and is co-author of a successful off-Broadway play. Tanya is co-author of the children's novel Zora and Me, winner of a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. They live in Westchester, New York. Oskar and the Eight Blessings is their first picture book.Siegel, Mark: - Mark Siegel is the illustrator of To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel, a Robert F. Sibert Award Honor Book, as well as the author and illustrator of the picture book Moving House, published by Roaring Brook Press. Sailor Twain is his most recent graphic novel.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2016 Spring)
In 1938, the last night of Hanukkah coincided with Christmas Eve, and for a young Jewish refugee, both holidays provided blessings. Following Kristallnacht, Oskar's parents send him to New York with just his aunt's name and address. The illustrations, an engaging blend of large and small panels, are paced to echo the starts and stops and blessings of Oskar's (successful) journey.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2015 #6)
In 1938, the last night of Hanukkah coincided with Christmas Eve, and for a young Jewish refugee in Manhattan, both holidays provided blessings. Following Kristallnacht, Oskar's parents had put him on a boat to New York with just the name and address of his aunt; his walk from the harbor takes him more than a hundred blocks up Broadway. Along the way he encounters friendly and helpful strangers, Macy's Christmas windows, and Count Basie and Eleanor Roosevelt (whose historical presence in the city that night is confirmed in an author's note). The changing light of the day and developing snow are beautifully conveyed in the illustrations, an engaging blend of large and small panels paced to echo the starts and stops and blessings of Oskar's (successful) journey. An appended map of Manhattan details the route and visually reprises the gifts Oskar receives along the way. roger sutto Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2015 September #2)

In the wake of Kristallnacht, Oskar's parents send him off alone to New York City to live with his Aunt Esther, who he has never met. The "terribly small" boy arrives on a December day in 1938 that's both the seventh night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, and makes his way 100 blocks up Broadway to reach his aunt's house. The final words of Oskar's father—"Even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for blessings"—are affirmed as the boy crosses paths with eight New Yorkers from all walks of life (including cameos from Count Basie and Eleanor Roosevelt). The Simons' moving, reserved text is beautifully paired with Siegel's vivid, canvas-textured drawings, which borrow the dramatic framings and emotional energy of contemporary graphic novels. This is a book that's wonderfully original in every way—right up to the afterword providing historical context and a map of Oskar's walk. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2015 October)

PreS-Gr 2—On the seventh day of Hanukkah in 1938, which also happens to be Christmas Eve, a young refugee boy named Oskar arrives in New York City from the horrors of Nazi Europe with only a photograph and an address to find an aunt he has never meet. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his aunt's home in the north end of the city, he passes and encounters the city's many holiday sights and residents. Each person he meets offers Oskar a small act of kindness, such as the newsstand man who gives Oskar a Superman comic book. Each encounter is a reference to an event which took place in the city in 1938. A constant for Oskar is remembering his father's last words, "Oskar, even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings." The majority of illustrations are presented in variously sized panels that move the story along, with inserts of long panel illustrations that serve as a glimpse of Oskar's experiences. VERDICT A wonderful, heartwarming picture book for any library at any time of year.—Diane Olivo-Posner Los Angeles Public Library

[Page 69]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
 
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