The Book of Aron: A novel

Shepard, Jim

Published by Knopf, 2015
ISBN 10: 1101874317 / ISBN 13: 9781101874318
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Synopsis: By National Book Award finalist Jim Shepard, a deeply affecting novel that will join the shortlist of classics about the Holocaust and the children whose lives were caught up in it. For readers of Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, Kenneally's Schindler's List; Szpilman's The Pianist; Anne Michaels' Fugitive Pieces; Markus Zusack's The Book Thief; the works of Pimo Levi and Elie Weisel and Michael Chabon.
     When we meet Aron, he is a beguiling and perceptive and not always happy young boy coming into awareness of himself and his family's struggles. When soon they are driven from the countryside into Warsaw, their lives are changed forever. Aron and a group of boys and girls risk their lives scuttling around the ghetto, smuggling and trading things through the "quarantine walls" to keep their people alive, while they are hunted by blackmailers and Jewish and Polish and German police, as gradually things catastrophically worsen, people begin to disappear, and survival is threatened on all sides. Eventually, Aron comes to know Janusz Korczak, a Jewish-Polish doctor famous for his advocacy of children's rights, whose orphanage was relocated to the ghetto once the Nazis swept in. In the end, he and the children he takes care of, Aron among them, are brought to the station to be put on a train to Treblinka. The Book of Aron is a breathtaking novel of extraordinary craft, humanity, and masterful storytelling. Fearless, and devoid of sentimentality, it looks squarely into the face of unspeakable suffering, evil and lawlessness, revealing the persistence and strength of the human spirit despite all odds and the redemptive power of love. It is nothing less than a masterpiece.

Product Description: The acclaimed National Book Award finalist??one of the United States? finest writers,? according to Joshua Ferris, ?full of wit, humanity, and fearless curiosity??now gives us a novel that will join the short list of classics about children caught up in the Holocaust.

Aron, the narrator, is an engaging if peculiar and unhappy young boy whose family is driven by the German onslaught from the Polish countryside into Warsaw and slowly battered by deprivation, disease, and persecution. He and a handful of boys and girls risk their lives by scuttling around the ghetto to smuggle and trade contraband through the quarantine walls in hopes of keeping their fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters alive, hunted all the while by blackmailers and by Jewish, Polish, and German police, not to mention the Gestapo.

When his family is finally stripped away from him, Aron is rescued by Janusz Korczak, a doctor renowned throughout prewar Europe as an advocate of children?s rights who, once the Nazis swept in, was put in charge of the Warsaw orphanage. Treblinka awaits them all, but does Aron manage to escape?as his mentor suspected he could?to spread word about the atrocities? 
Jim Shepard has masterfully made this child?s-eye view of the darkest history mesmerizing, sometimes comic despite all odds, truly heartbreaking, and even inspiring. Anyone who hears Aron?s voice will remember it forever.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Book of Aron: A novel
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: 2015
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New
Edition: 1st Edition

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