Nominated by:

The Regional Library of Karviná, Karviná-Mizerov, Czech Republic

Jacksonville Public Library, USA

Free Library of Philadelphia, USA

Multnomah County Library, Portland, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Alfred A. Knopf, USA

The Book of Aron

Jim Shepard      

2017 Longlist

Small and sullen, Aron is eight years old when his family moves from a rural Polish village to hectic Warsaw.  At first gradually and then ever more quickly, his family’s opportunities for a better life vanish as the occupying German government imposes harsh restrictions.  Officially confined to the Jewish quarter, with hunger, vermin, disease and death all around him, Aron makes his way from apprentice to master smuggler until finally, with everyone for whom he cared stripped away from him, his only option is Janusz Korczak, the renowned doctor, children’s rights advocate, and radio host who runs a Jewish orphanage. And Korczak in turn awakens the humanity inside the boy.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Jim Shepard is the author of seven novels and four previous story collections. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with his wife, three children, and three beagles. He teaches at Williams College.

Librarians’ Comments

Aron is a young child living in Poland during World War 2. This is a story of survival for his family and then when his family is taken away he is rescued by Janusz Korczak. Korczak is a doctor of renown in prewar Europe and an advocate for children’s rights. Aron is placed in the Warsaw orphanage, which is eventually taken over by the Nazis. Treblinka is awaiting all the orphans’ arrival. Will Aron escape and share with the world the atrocities he has experienced as his mentor hoped?

Heartbreaking and inspiring  – a child’s eye view of the Holocaust.

Shepard crafts a story told from the perspective of Aron, a boy whose role is to witness the slow devolution of society as the walls go up around the Warsaw ghetto. Shepard’s research and storytelling come together to paint a devastating picture of a world gone wrong.

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