BEN LOVES ANNA by Peter Hartling

BEN LOVES ANNA

Age Range: 8 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Hartling's Old John (1990), set in a German milieu evoked with perfectly selected detail, exquisitely demonstrated that the verities of the human condition transcend their setting. Here, a disastrous decision has been made (presumably by the publisher): a gentle story about a ten-year-old schoolboy's friendship with a Polish refugee in his class is completely undermined by pretending that it takes place in America, though almost every incident and detail--e.g., the characters' names, a teacher's assignment, Ben's gift of flowers to Anna's mother on his first visit, even how jobs and housing are acquired--seems European, and is certainly not American. Set in Hartling's homeland (Austria), this would be a quiet but pleasingly warm-hearted story; as it stands, it's an exasperating travesty.~(Fiction. 8- 11)

Pub Date: April 29th, 1991
ISBN: 0-87951-401-9
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Overlook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1991