UNCLE JACOB'S GHOST STORY by Donn Kushner

UNCLE JACOB'S GHOST STORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Paul has tried to discover the truth about his mysterious great-uncle Jacob. At last, his grandfather and Mr. Eisbein, his companion, tell him the fantastic story. When his dearest friends died of typhus, nothing was left to keep Jacob from joining his successful brothers, who had emigrated from Poland to America. But Jacob did not become wealthy in his new country; he ran a newsstand in New York City's Times Square, where he was well-known and loved for his kindness. Jacob's life was transformed when he discovered that two familiar street musicians were the ghosts of his dear friends, Esther and Simon, who had died in Poland. Jacob's story seems to end one winter night when he freezes to death inside his newsstand. But the story comes full circle when an adult Paul, prompted by three traveling musicians (Esther, Simon, and Jacob?), feels compelled to pass on Jacob's story. This haunting book is beautifully written, with vivid descriptions of the characters inhabiting Times Square in the early 1900's. Strong themes of love and memory, destiny and individuality run through the story. For the unusual child who would grasp the layers of meaning in the narrative, or for the adult. (The Canadian Library Association's 1980 Book of the Year for Children.)

Pub Date: March 31st, 1986
Publisher: Henry Holt