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Anna Olswanger

NewSouth Books
$17.95 hardcover
5 x 7            
48 pages
Miriam Nerlove, illustrator
October 2012

In Anna Olswanger’s Greenhorn, a young Holocaust survivor arrives at a New York yeshiva in 1946 where he will study and live. His only possession is a small box that he never lets out of his sight. Daniel, the young survivor, rarely talks, but the narrator, a stutterer who bears the taunts of the other boys, comes to consider Daniel his friend.

The mystery of what’s in the box propels this short work, but it’s in the complex relationships of the schoolboys that reveals the human story. In the end, Aaron, the stutterer, finds his voice and a friend in Daniel, and their bond offers hope for a future life of dreams realized, one in which Daniel is able to let go of his box.

Greenhorn is a powerful story, perfect for families to read together, that gives human dimension to the Holocaust. It poignantly underscores our flawed humanity and speaks to the healing value of friendship. Families will want to read Greenhorn together.




"Greenhorn is a tender, touching celebration of friendship, family, and faith. I must admit I cried at the horror and humanity of this simple story. Read it with your arms around someone you love."
—Karen Cushman, author of The Midwife’s Apprentice and winner of the Newbery Medal
"It’s just a tin box.Yet for Daniel it contains a whole world. Greenhorn is a short, simple story that deserves a place among the most distinguished works of Holocaust literature." 
—Eric A. Kimmel, author of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, a Newbery Honor Book
"Greenhorn brings to colloquial life a chilling aspect of Jewish and world history that the world should not be allowed to forget."
—Paul Zelinsky, author of Rapunzel and winner of the Caldecott Medal
"Greenhorn is both a heartwarming and heartrending story of friendship and tragedy in the aftermath of the Holocaust. I highly recommend it." 
—David Adler, author of Lou Gehrig:The Luckiest Man, named a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book for Nonfiction
"A story to read and discuss with young readers—certain to get conversation started on a difficult subject."
—Steve Sheinkin, author of The Notorious Benedict Arnold and winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction
"This slim, compelling volume, based on the experience of Rabbi Rafael Grossman, feels more like a parable than a memoir, and readers won't want to miss the end matter's touching, humane coda to 'Daniel's' tale, which testifies to his eventual emotional recovery."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Olswanger’s deceptively simple tale can jump-start a discussion of the Holocaust, as well as the repercussions for those who survived and, indeed, for all humanity. A book to be read by adult and child together."
—Kirkus Reviews