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Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Tanya Simon
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Oskar and the Eight Blessings

by Tanya Simon, Richard Simon

Other authors: Mark Siegel (Illustrator)

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Lovely story and pictures! Great map of Manhattan in NYC circa 1938 at the end of the book that shows Oskar’s journey and the events/people he encounters along the way. There is a touching and informative author’s note at the end too. Great story for Hanukkah, and as a gentle introduction to the Holocaust, and even for Christmas too, for historical fiction NYC, and a wonderful story about perseverance and kindnesses and finding the good there is to be found. I followed along with Oskar as he goes down Broadway to his destination and found the story entrancing. It was a perfect book for me to read at this time of year, and brought back some memories of NYC too. Also, we need a story like this right now. Highly recommended as a story about a refugee/immigrant! ( )
  Lisa2013 | Dec 1, 2018 |
This story begins with an ominous picture and the caption, the Night of Broken Glass. Little Oskar is sent off by his parents to escape the Holocaust and to America to be with his Aunt Esther. He has never met her before and only has a picture to go by. The story is well written as he receives small blessings along his journey, which are coincidentally big moments in our history, and eventually finds his Aunt Esther on the street as he is looking for his house. His father had given advice as he left to look for the blessings, and he did indeed have those along the way. ( )
  S.Becnel | Nov 3, 2018 |
. The Simons message is that even in bad times people can be good. It is a heartfelt story full of hope, a holiday blessing that good still exists in every person and neighborhood. This picture book tells the story of a young boy, sent to Manhattan to find his aunt, following Kristallnacht. Oscar arrives in New York on Christmas Eve, 1938, which also happens to be the seventh night of Hanukkah. As he walks down Broadway, he finds many reasons and people to give him hope, to believe in the generosity of the human spirit. Walking through the snow covered streets he sees many holiday sights and encounters its various residents. He is offered small acts of kindness, welcoming him to the city and helping him on his way. An author’s note explains that many of the events told here are historically accurate, including Eleanor Roosevelt’s visit to NYC at the time. A wonderful holiday classic to read and discuss with your children.
  HandelmanLibraryTINR | Sep 27, 2017 |
Oskar is a small child whose parents, after Kristallnacht, put him on a ship to America with nothing but the address and a photo of an aunt he has never met. "Oskar," his father tells him, "even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings." He arrives in New York City on a day that is both Chanukkah and Christmas. There, he is helped by the kindness of strangers until he meets his aunt. - Marla S. ( )
  cavlibrary | Nov 14, 2016 |
A little boy arrives on a ship to New York City on the seventh night of Hanukkah—which also happens to be Christmas Eve—in 1938. He’s survived Kristallnacht and been sent to find his aunt on 103rd Street and Broadway. His father has told him, “Even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings.” So, Oskar begins trudging uptown from the Battery; along the way, he encounters eight acts of kindness. Through soft, warm-toned panels of illustration shot through with bursts of color, we accompany Oskar as he meets different helpers: A lady feeding pigeons near Trinity Church gives him a small loaf of bread. A newsstand guy in Union Square sees him admiring a Superman comic and lets him keep it, even though he has no money. A jazz musician near Carnegie Hall engages him in a duet of whistling as bright primary-colored notes swirl around them. (“It was Oskar’s first conversation in America,” the text notes.) Finally, he makes it to his aunt’s home, and she envelops him in a warm hug.
  TBE | Nov 3, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tanya Simonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Simon, Richardmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Siegel, MarkIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A refugee seeking sanctuary from the horrors of Kristallnacht, Oskar arrives by ship in New York City with only a photograph and an address for an aunt he has never met. It is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, 1938. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his new home in the north of the city, he passes experiences the city's many holiday sights, and encounters it various residents. Each offers Oskar a small act of kindness, welcoming him to the city and helping him on his way to a new life in the new world.
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A young Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany arrives in New York City on the seventh night of Hanukkah and receives small acts of kindness while exploring the city.

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