Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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A 2016 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book

Winner of the 2016 Sydney Taylor Book Award, Association of Jewish Libraries

Finalist for the 2016 National Jewish Book Awards

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.

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“Deeply moving and powerful: unforgettable”

“A real masterpiece . . . . The best book of the tear."”

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.”

blog — January 05

Aharon Appelfeld, 1932–2018

Today we mourn the passing of the masterful and elusive novelist Aharon Appelfeld. You can read the NYT obit here.

Appelfeld published Adam & Thomas, his first ever young adult novel in English, with Seven Stories in 2015. It was an American Library Association Mildred L. Batchelder Honor book, a 2016 National Jewish Book Award Finalist, and the winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers from the Association of Jewish Libraries.

Another young adult novel from Appelfeld, Long Summer Nights, is forthcoming from Seven Stories in 2019.

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First championed in the English language by Irving Howe and Philip Roth, Aharaon 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. 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. Today, Appelfeld 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.