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The Entertainer and the Dybbuk


The Entertainer and the Dybbuk Cover

ISBN13: 9780061344459
ISBN10: 0061344451
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One night The Great Freddie, a young ventriloquist, is possessed by a dybbuk.

A what?

A Jewish spirit. A scrappy demon who glows as if spray-painted by moonlight.

The dybbuk is revealed to be the ghost of a twelve-year-old boy named Avrom Amos, a victim of the Nazis during World War II. In a plucky scheme to seek revenge, he commandeers The Great Freddie's stage act and entraps the entertainer in the postwar ashes of Germany. Behind the footlights, the dybbuk lights up the terrible fate of a million and a half Jewish children, including Avrom himself.

What tricks does the dybbuk have up his ghostly sleeve? Prepare to be astonished. . . .


The Newbery Medal-winning author of "The Whipping Boy" tells a moving and distinguished story set in post-World War II Europe about an American soldier possessed by the spirit of a dybbuk, who sets out to find the Nazi officer who murdered his family.

About the Author

"I'm too lazy to retire," says Sid Fleischman, author of more than sixty books for children, adults, and magicians. His tales have been translated into nineteen languages. Among his many awards is the Newbery Medal for his novel The Whipping Boy.

Sid Fleischman hesitated to write a story about the Holocaust until he found the right characters and plot. "The Jewish sense of humor miraculously survived the Holocaust," says Mr. Fleischman. "The Entertainer and the Dybbuk captures not only the inhumane tragedies but the human comedy of the recent past."

Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in San Diego, California, Sid Fleischman is the author of the pirate epics The Ghost in the Noonday Sun, The 13th Floor, and The Giant Rat of Sumatra. His most recent books are The White Elephant, a novel, and a biography, Escape! The Story of The Great Houdini.

Sid Fleischman lives in Santa Monica, California.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

dare2tri2001, July 12, 2008 (view all comments by dare2tri2001)
I read this book for a Master's class on Multi-Cultural Children's Lit. I was astounded. Over the decades I've read Night, The Hiding Place, and seen a variety of museums, movies, and newsreels on the Holocaust. But this book is an amazing mix of the horror of the Holocaust with a 12-year-old victim who becomes the hero. It does include the "possession" of a 3rd-rate ventriquilist, but at no time do you feel an "evil" anywhere in the book except in the actions and plans of the Nazis. This book is satisfying for adults and children alike. It's easy to separate the true from the adventurous fiction - and is sprinkled with humor from a "dummy" with a knife like an "icepick". He throws a drowning Nazi a rope - a Christian thing to do, The Great Freddie says. A Jewish thing, too - quips the Dybbuk - I threw him both ends.

Love this book. Amazing. Taught in conjuction with other Holocaust books, would help children feel the power they can have - even in the face of evil - even in the face of death.

I thank Mr. Fleischman for having the backbone to write this and intend to recommend it to everyone I know - kid or adult.

Michael & Matt's Mom
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Cathy from Olympia, Washington, December 5, 2007 (view all comments by Cathy from Olympia, Washington)
Mediocre ventriloquist "The Great Freddie" finds himself possessed by dybbuk Avrom Amos who was killed as a child by the Nazis. Freddie and Avrom become an odd but effective team, managing to work together to save Freddie's career while spreading Avrom's and other Jewish children's story of persecution and death. While this unique story is written as a children's book and would be a good introduction to the holocaust, the short tale is sophisticated enough to appeal to adults as well. I found the ending particularly satisfying!
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(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
amber.pasternak, November 1, 2007 (view all comments by amber.pasternak)
Feeling burnt out on children's Holocaust literature, I decided to write my thesis on the portrayal of Judaism in YA fiction. I was determined not to read any Holocaust or WWII centered books until I finished my thesis. But last week I picked up Fleischman's book and read it cover to cover during my lunch. It is so atypical of what's out there. (I even learned some new things.) Fleischman's approach is such that the reader does not feel overwhelmed. Tragedy and comedy are expertly woven together.
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Product Details

Fleischman, Sid
Greenwillow Books
by Sid Fleischman
People & Places - Europe
Religious - Jewish
Historical - Holocaust
Holocaust, jewish (1939-1945)
Jewish fiction.
Spirit possession
Children s-Historical Fiction-Holocaust
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 4 to 9
6.31x5.89x.75 in. .48 lbs.
Age Level:

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Children's » Middle Readers » General

The Entertainer and the Dybbuk Used Hardcover
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Product details 192 pages Greenwillow Books - English 9780061344459 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Newbery Medal-winning author of "The Whipping Boy" tells a moving and distinguished story set in post-World War II Europe about an American soldier possessed by the spirit of a dybbuk, who sets out to find the Nazi officer who murdered his family.
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