by Isaac Bashevis Singer
with photographs by Roman Vishniac
"At a time when in children's literature the power of the imagination is frequently lost sight of or diluted, it is fortunate that we can honor a great storyteller. Mr. Singer has created out of remembered fragments of his own childhood a place instantly familiar where life is not neat and orderly, where the adventures of a boy throw into sharp and recognizable focus those resistant elements of the ever-troubled human condition."--From the judges' citation, National Book Award for Children's Literature
"Singer's memories of his youth in Poland make a powerful, brilliant children's book. The author lays out a panorama of Jewish life in the city-- the rabbis in black velvet and gabardine, the shopkeepers, the street urchins and schoolboys, the poverty, the confusion, the excitement of the prewar time. But even more, the author reveals himself; and the torments and mysteries that plagued him as a child will make his stories fascinating to other children....Reflecting a bygone world, the photographs add a further note of realism and power."
--The Horn Book