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.
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.