After surviving Kristallnacht in 1938, Oskar’s parents send him to America to save him from the Nazi persecution of Jews. He arrives in New York City on the last night of Hanukkah, which this year is also Christmas Eve. He has yet another journey in front of him: he must walk over one hundred blocks to his aunt Esther’s house. A stranger’s act of kindness reminds him of his father’s parting words: “Oskar, even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings.” As he walks on, the people he meets show him the truth of his father’s dictum. Oskar and the Eight Blessings (Roaring Brook, $17.99) is a heartfelt tale from authors Richard and Tanya Simon and illustrator Mark Siegel that celebrates love, survival, the kindness of strangers, and the city that so many refugees have come to call home. Ages 6-9.
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