This is a unique work. It is one of the first books written for young readers describing the early days of the event that has since come to be known as the Holocaust. Originally written in Yiddish in 1938, it is one of the most accomplished works of children's literature in this language. It is also the only book for young readers by Glatshteyn, a major American Yiddish poet, novelist, and essayist.
Written in the form of a suspense novel, Emil and Karl draws readers into the dilemmas faced by two young boys--one Jewish, the other not--when they suddenly find themselves without families or homes in Vienna on the eve of World War II. Because the book was written before World War II, and before the full revelations of the Third Reich's persecution of Jews and other civilians, it offers a fascinating look at life during this period and the moral challenges people faced under Nazism. It is also a taut, gripping, page-turner of the first order.
Praise for Emil and Karl
“This important book...gives a chilling portrait of a world descending into madness as experienced by two innocent children. The excellent translation effectively conveys the helplessness of the characters.” —School Library Journal, Starred Review
“It's a clear, powerful novel that will bring today's readers very close to what it was like to be a child under Nazi occupation. . . . The fast-moving prose is stark and immediate. . . . The translation, sixty-five years after the novel's original publication, is nothing short of haunting.” —Booklist, Starred Review
“Like ‘The Diary of Anne Frank,' Emil and Karl will stir adults, as well as the book's intended audience.” —The New York Times
“Emil and Karl defies categorization. For a moment I feel as if I am in Vienna in 1940, that I am standing beside the author, watching the impossible unfold. I share his disbelief, his mute acceptance of a world turned upside down. The experience is more immediate than mere fiction, more memorable and more frightening.” —Meg Rosoff, author of How I Live Now-