DAVID AND MAX by Gary & Gail Levine-Provost Provost


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David, 12, tries to help his grandfather (Max) locate a childhood friend; in the process, he learns about his family's experiences in the Holocaust. David and Max have always been close; when Max thinks he's spotted a friend he hasn't seen in 40 years--and had presumed dead--David tries to understand the friend's importance. He discovers that Max had been in concentration camps, that his grandmother died of grief, and that the woman he has always know as his grandmother is Max's second wife. Angry at what he sees as a lie, David has a nightmare about Nazis, but is then reconciled to the situation. Months later, the missing friend turns up at Max's funeral and explains that he ran away from Max to avoid remembering his own war experiences. The bright, flippant tone of this adolescent novel is incongruous with its attempt to relate sufferings of European Jews during WW II. David's tears on first learning about Max's ordeal are less believable than his guilt and distress when he sees a puppy drown and can't save her. Since the depth of Max's and David's emotion is not conveyed, the reader remains unmoved--an injustice to the subject.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1988
ISBN: 0827608373
Page count: 196pp
Publisher: Jewish Publication Society