Read Emil and Karl by Yankev Glatshteyn Jeffrey Shandler Online


Written in the form of a suspense novel, Emil and Karl draws readers into the dilemma faced by two young boys in Vienna--one Jewish, the other not--when they suddenly find themselves without homes or families on the eve of World War II. This unique work, written in 1938, was one of the first books for young readers describing the early days of what came to be known as theWritten in the form of a suspense novel, Emil and Karl draws readers into the dilemma faced by two young boys in Vienna--one Jewish, the other not--when they suddenly find themselves without homes or families on the eve of World War II. This unique work, written in 1938, was one of the first books for young readers describing the early days of what came to be known as the Holocaust. Written before the war and the full revelations of the Third Reich's persecution of Jews and other civilians, the book offers a fascinating look at life during this period and the moral challenges people faced under Nazism. It is also a taut, gripping, page-turner of the first order.Originally written in Yiddish, Emil and Karl is one of the most accomplished works of children's literature in this language, and the only book for young readers by Yankev Glatshteyn, a major American Yiddish poet, novelist, and essayist....

Title : Emil and Karl
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781596431195
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 194 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Emil and Karl Reviews

  • KidsFiction Teton County Library
    2019-01-18 03:56

    J GlatshteynWhat would you do if you were suddenly orphaned in Austria in the 1930's right before the Nazi occupation and the start of WWII? This is the compelling story of two 9 year old boys, Emil and Karl, who are best friends and find themselves in just that situation.There are a few reasons that this book stands out from many other World War II books. Among those is that this is one of the first books about the Holocaust for any age and in any language. It was first published in 1940 in Yiddish and was just this year (2006) translated to English. The author, Yankev Glatshteyn, was horrified by the growing discrimination against Jews after he visits his homeland of Poland on a trip from the United States. It is also unique because it takes place at the very early stages of WWII, which started in 1939 and lasted until 1945. This rare perspective foreshadows the horror of concentration camps to come, although the author could not have guessed that such appalling events were yet to happen.The story makes its reader turn the pages to see what will become of Emil, who was forced out of school because he is Jewish just after his father was executed, and Karl, whose mother is arrested for her socialist political beliefs and dragged away by police as Karl watches and is then told by the police that they will be back for him. Essentially, the story is about survival and loyalty - survival, because two young boys must find their own way in a city that is increasingly descending into the madness that lead to the war; and loyalty for the strong bond between the two boys (one Jewish, and one not), as well as the brave people who risk their own lives in an effort to protect the lives of innocent people whose existence is threatened by the hatred being fueled on the cusp of the war.When the boys find themselves with neither homes or families, they are forced into the streets of Vienna, where they witness and become victims of cruelty - including neighbors and friends who are too afraid to help them, and escalating to a scene where the boys are forced to scrub cobblestone streets with their bare hands until they are bloody and rubbed raw. The boys eventually find people willing to help them after they have witnessed Jews being corralled into a park to be ridiculed by spectators. The kind man and woman who bring them to the seemingly safer countryside are active resistors of the Nazi regime, and so live in danger themselves. After time, the countryside, too, becomes a dangerous place to be and the boys are encouraged to leave the country by train, along with many other orphaned innocent children. Read the book to see if the two friends escape harm - and to see if their promise to stick together holds true.Allie

  • Bridget
    2018-12-31 22:54

    The harrowing story of two 9 year-old Austrian boys, one of whom is Jewish and one of whom isn't, caught up in war. They are on the run and are wandering trying to find somewhere to be, dealing with strangers who don't necessarily have good intentions and meeting people they cannot decide whether it is safe to trust but running out of options. It is interesting because it is from the point of view of the children, and written in the time of war, in 1940, so you get a different kind of sensibility, no big picture just the day to day of what is happening in the lives of the two boys as their lives change completely and inexorably. The friendship between the two boys is beautifully written and I'm sure that young people who enjoy reading war stories would like it.

  • Nancy Lockett
    2019-01-20 21:58

    What is special about this book is that it was one of the first novels published about the Holocaust. Realizing that it was published in German in 1940 made me look at it in a different way.

  • Jacobshirland
    2018-12-29 01:48

    I thought it was a really good book and I suggest it to anyone who likes holocaust or anyone who wants a little glimpse on some stuff that happened.

  • Abby
    2019-01-18 00:48

    Emil and Karl by Yankev Glatshteyn is about a two boys name Emil and Karl. They are friends who have experienced somethings that average children there age would have never experienced. This book takes place during the Time of the Holocaust. Emil and Karl's families have gone through situations where they either got taken away, died, or unable to take care of them. They have to find ways to live on there own, and as you can imagine that is very difficult. Throughout the story, Emil and Karl end up with different families who are in different situations. From families who are only able to supply a shelter, to families who are able to supply endless meals. They learn that everyone one is different, and that you don't need a king sized bed or an eight course meal everyday to be health and happy. I recommend this book for anyone who has an interest for history (and maybe particularly the Holocaust), and for people who want to learn about what the children went through during this tragic time.

  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
    2019-01-06 02:49

    Glatshteyn, Yankev Emil and Karl 194 p. Roaring Brook (Holtzbrinck) – Emil and Karl are best friends in the city of Vienna at the start of World War II. Through horrible circumstances, both young boys are left orphaned and without family to take them in. Their little eyes see many of the cruel atrocities carried out in the name of Christianity upon the bodies of Austria’s Jews. This amazing thing about this book is that it was written in 1940, in Yiddish, so that the Jewish children of America could know what was really going on in Europe. I am amazed that it hadn’t surfaced in English before now. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL

  • Caroline Mentes
    2019-01-06 21:40

    I read this book as an English assignment. It is about two boys, Emil and Karl, who are living during the Holocaust. Emil is Jewish and Karl is not. They lose their parents during they war, forcing them to stick together in order to stay alive. I enjoyed the book other than the vague ending. I recommend it to those interested in the historical fiction genre.

  • Janelle
    2019-01-21 21:51

    One of the first WWII books written by an ex-patriot Jew for young people even before the USA entered the war.

  • Karol
    2018-12-25 02:08

    Emil and KarlGlatshteyn purpose of writing his book, Emil and Karl, is to show how true friendship lasts through a time of hardship and troubles. His main focus was to show how two different people can make and use friendship to withstand all their enemies. It was to show to not befriend someone just because of their background. It is also to educate everyone about the holocaust and teach a lesson about standing up for what you believe in. The book, Emil and Karl, is truly inspirational and has a very impacting last impression. This book is breathtaking and so amazing because it focuses on the lives of two young boys who persevere to live or die together till end.This book impacted the audience in a good way because it raised awareness of the things that happened in the holocaust. Though the holocaust is a depressing topic, the author chose to write about a friendship that overlooked the malicious times. The book was also short but had great and profound writing that really impacted the audience. With only 200 pages, the author had a great way to sum things up and make it an astounding book. He chose to show not only the bad that came from the holocaust but also the good that came out of it. The holocaust is seemed to bring out the worst in people. The author showed the opposite, he showed how the holocaust managed to bring the best out in some people. The book is very well written because it is easy to read, very captivating, and brings out emotions which the author wants to do. It makes the reader think and wonder all about the holocaust. This is shown when Karl tells a solider, “I want to ask you something. I just want to ask you a simple question. What makes them do it” (Glatshteyn 70). Everybody’s question is why, why did the Germans have to mistreat the Jews. This book makes the audience wonder really why the Germans abused the Jews. Also the bond between the two children during the time of the holocaust shows how there can be great love in time of hatred and cruelty. This book contains topics including love, hatred, happiness, depression and most of all hope. Glatshteyn presents this book as a heartwarming story in which love and friendship sustains the lives of two young boys who are facing difficulties. The author made this book very intriguing and captivating. This book was not very predictable which makes the readers try to guess what will happen next. The book also taught the readers a lesson on how to be strong when difficult obstacles came their way. An example would be when the author said, “Emil was no longer scared. What had happened to him was worse. Emil had that now he was quite grown up” (Glatshteyn 72). The author showed how children had to become strong because many of their parents were being taken away from them. In the holocaust, it made children have no choice but to become adults. By reading this, it gave readers respect for the children who suffered in the holocaust. The greatest strength of this book was that he made this book very heartwarming but also sad at the same time. I like how it not only consists of one topic but a variety of topics. The author created quotes that touched the audience heart like when he wrote, “To my only friend, Karl. I. But the words were spotted with tears, and after the word “I” there were so many stains that the piece of paper was wet” (Glatshteyn 177). This quote shows how much love Emil has for his friend Karl. No words can describe how much he values Karl’s friendship. I would recommend this book to a friend because it was a story that made you smile but also made you cry. It is a book that is hard to forget because it shows you the realities of what really happened in the holocaust. Not only is this book captivating to the audience but it also informing. This book was a very inspiring book and one of the best books about the holocaust I have ever read.

  • Lexie Bell
    2019-01-23 23:07

    Though the title and cover might be discouraging, Emil and Karl is a great book. The characters Emil and Karl are definitely round characters that develop throughout the story. Development of these characters is indirect, therefor the author does not directly show change. Emil and Karl, the main characters, are very engaging because they are young and independent. At the beginning of the novel, they were dependent on their parents but by the end they didn't have their parents and were completely changed. The theme of this book to me is to remember friendship is greatly important. The themes are revealed as Emil and Karl are separated from their parents and their bond gets stronger and stronger. This theme may seem traditional, however it is developed in a unique way. The introduction of the novel picks up quickly with Emil struggling because he is Jewish and Karl having difficulties because his family is torn apart and he doesn't understand why. The suspense and climax was intriguing and made me want to keep reading. The conclusion was a little confusing at first but when I thought about it and the book as a whole it is a great ending and the author definitely leaves you thinking. Emil, Karl, and the place they are located, including several different houses and families, is essential to the other elements of the story. This story is written so you are emotionally involved. Emil and Karl are only little kids but they go through so much, including losing their parents and having consequences for being Jewish. The author wrote this book with clarity until the end where you have to put some pieces together and almost create your own ending because it is indirect what really happens in the end. There are times in the book where there is little dialogue but the emotion and difficulties Emil and Karl share speaks for them. The setting plays a significant role in the story. Part of the story being what it is, is all the places the boys have lived together. Emil and Karl lived in several different places whether it was a real house or not. Most of the places they lived in were not with family, or people they were familiar with which is why there friendship is so important. Emil and Karl go through a series of hardships but the theme of friendship is appropriate for this book because not only are they best friends but they are the only people who have always been there for each other. This was a great novel and was unlike any other holocaust book I've read.

  • Terri (Le Book Chronicles)
    2018-12-30 23:53

    2.5 starsEmil and Karl is a YA novel written in 1940. It was written for younger children to give them an idea of the events and changes to society leading up to WWII. The novel shows how the Jewish people were treated, before the war even began, and gives a little insight to what would happen. I really liked the idea of this book, and I was eager to read it as the idea of two little boys telling the story is really intriguing, however it was very disappointing. You can definitely tell that this is a children's book, the writing and storyline aren't as detailed as it could be, and a lot of information is left out, leading to a bit of confusion. I also found the story itself very dull and boring. Not that the occurrences itself were boring, but the way it was told was definitely lacking. It was told in third person (which I really don't like) which also added to the confusion I think as I feel you don't get as strong of a connection with the characters when told in third person. This book was also originally written in Yiddish, and has been translated into English. I feel that there were a few things left out during the translation process as many things didn't make sense. There are a few grammar mistakes, but also it was written in 1940 so I'll keep that in mind. Overall, I'm not impressed with this book. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who has read The Diary of Anne Frank as there is absolutely no comparison between the two. But it may be insightful for a 12-15 year old who is possibly learning about WWII in school, or who wants to know a little bit more about what actually happened.

  • Erica
    2019-01-12 21:51

    Originally published in Yiddish in 1940, for American Jewish young readers, this was first translated into English in 2006. The thing I love about this book is that it authentically sticks with the perspective of the two boys, and while it hides nothing of the reality, it nevertheless is positive, and focuses on the boys' ability to find comfort & protection in the very hostile, frightening, and dangerous work of Vienna in 1940. The best friends must rely on themselves, and each other, when their parents are taken by Nazis - one set because they are Jewish, the other because they are Communists. Although there is an ambiguous ending, this novel will not be overwhelming for most readers ages 10 to 14, perhaps younger in families where the Holocaust has been discussed & described already. Emil & Karl is a far more sensitive, authentic, moving, and inspiring story than The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which came out the following year (2007), and invested all the emotional identification of the reader in the ignorant and passive son of a Nazi officer - who is about the same age as the boys in this wonderful story. Where Bruno (in Pajamas) is confused, petulant, and passive, Emil and Karl (in this great book) are courageous, steadfast, hard-working, faithful, perspicacious, perceptive, loving, and strong - and still behave in ways that are fully consistent with their age and with history. I feel this book would give young people courage to cope with difficult situations, wherever they may find them.

  • Khalid Halabi
    2018-12-28 06:09

    Emil and Karl begins with Karl's mother being dragged away. Emil and Karl are two boys in Austria. Emil is a Jewish boy, while Karl is a normal person. Karl's father was taken away an killed by the Nazis because he was a resistance leader. When the Nazis come to take away Karl's mother, they abuse Karl. Karl wakes up and is injured. His neighbors do not accept him, and Karl goes to his friend Emil's home. When the Nazis started to abuse Jewish people, Emil was ostracized at school. Karl always stood up for his friend, and was bullied like Emil. When Karl reaches Emil he finds out that Emil's father has been taken away too. Emil's mother received a wooden box with her husband's ashes. Emil's mother cannot take care of the children as she is so grief stricken . Karl and Emil are forced to travel and live with another woman, and then other people. Emil and Karl stand up for each other like brother's would for each other in time of war, even though they are not related.This book was pretty good. The story was heart warming, and showed exactly how two children stay together, do that they can both live. The book made me feel that I could actually use some better friends. The friendship between the two boy's was extremely strong, more than I could think my friends could give me. The reason it got four stars is that it was slow and confusing at times. Most of the book was interesting, but the idea of friendship was stressed a little too much in the book. This caused the book to become uninteresting at times. Other than this, this book was very good.

  • Becky
    2019-01-09 00:06

    I love the idea of loving Emil and Karl by Yankev Glatshteyn. Emil and Karl was written in 1940 in Yiddish. It is set in Austria. It is the first--or at least among the very first--book written for children about the persecution Jews were experiencing from the Nazis. Emil and Karl have always, always been best friends. Emil's Jewish. Karl's the son of socialists. Both are "orphans" in a way because of the Nazis. The book opens with intensity: readers first glimpse of Karl is haunting. Karl's mother has been taken away by the Nazis. He's witnessed this: not only the arrest, but the beating too. He's alone in the apartment, feeling very alone, very frightened, very worried. For they told him they'd be back to take him too. He doesn't know what to do next, where to go, who to trust. He decides to run to Emil's house. Emil's world has also been devastated within the past day or two. His father was taken and killed. His mother is grieving and shattered. Karl and Emil are very much on their own it seems. The two stick together no matter what. They'll face danger and be put into difficult situations time and time again. There are many scenes that stay with you. But while I find the premise of this one fascinating, it isn't the absolute best book about the holocaust. It may be among the first, but, that doesn't make it among the best of the best. Worth reading? I think so if you already have an interest in the subject. But if you only read one book on the subject, I'd have to recommend you go with another book.

  • Becky
    2019-01-13 22:50

    Written in 1938, first published in 1940 in Yiddish for Jewish children living in U.S. to acquaint them with disturbing, current events taking place in Eastern Europe. One of the first novels for any age group that describes the Nazi persecution of the Jews. Because of the early publication date, the full extent of what came to be known as the holocaust had not yet transpired. Thus the book provides a very unique historical perspective. (translated & published in English in 2006)This is one of the more chilling children's Holocaust stories I have read. There are arrests; some brutal scenes of beatings of Jews by Nazis; "off-stage" executions; a suicide. But what I found most heart-wrenching was the wide-eyed innocence of the two parentless 9-year-old boys desperately seeking adults they could trust in a world that had gone crazy. The scenes of cruel humiliation of the Jews by the Nazis are very disturbing.

  • Jennifer
    2019-01-16 23:59

    One of the first books written during the devastation in Austria caused by Hitler. Emil and Karl are best friends, in fact they are each others only friends. One of them is Jewish and the other is simply a friend of a Jewish boy. Being a friend in this time and place is enough to condemn and persecute. All of the children at school hurtle insults, spit at, kick and punch the two boys. Then they go home only to find their parents have been taken away from them. There was no explanation. They don't know if they were killed or sent to a camp to be tortured. And from that moment on they move from home to home to survive. There are some truly gruesome and sad scenes in the book. It's technically a juvenile book (or at least it is in my library). But, don't let it full you. It's a book an adult can get a lot from.

  • S. J.
    2019-01-05 05:03

    A sweet story, made all the more poignant by the fact that it was written by a Jewish author prior to 1940, before anyone knew the truth about WWII. The ending is particularly haunting given what we know now - the image of Emil and Karl being separated on a train out of Vienna brings to mind much more sinister images of Jews being packed into train cars on their way to concentration camps and almost certain death. At times the writing was a little simplistic, even for a children's story, but it dealt with some heavy topics in a deft and vivid way, and certainly left an impression on me. Well worth a read.

  • Elisabeth
    2018-12-28 05:53

    The thing that completely blew me away was that this book was published IN 1940. It reads like a novel published twenty or thirty years AFTER the Holocaust, when all the horrors which happened had been brought to light. But Glasthteyn (and many others, obviously) knew what was going on, right up to the concentration camps. It's amazing to me that people read "Emil and Karl" while the Holocaust was happening. Sadly, it's also safe to assume that most of them did nothing about it. A wonderful book, enthralling story, and a beautiful translation.

  • Ellie Schwartz
    2019-01-25 06:08

    Written in Yiddish in 1940 by a Polish author, this young adult novel tells the story of Karl, a German boy, and Emil, a Jewish boy, who are on their own because their parents have been taken from them.It is a lovely story of friendship in a time of despair.None of the scenes were as graphic as some Holocaust portrayals written after WWII; however, I find this story more suitable to older and mature YA readers. I found the scenes where Jews had to perform for the Germans and scrub bricks with their hands (as they did as slaves in Egypt) particularly appalling and upsetting.

  • Bonnie Wells
    2018-12-28 03:09

    *3.5/5* Had this on my shelf for a while that I got from a library book sale and was able to read it for a children's literature course I'm taking! Glad I finally got around to it. A very straightforward read about two boys, one Jewish and one not, surviving together in Vienna prior to World War II. The book was actually published in 1940, which gives it a really interesting perspective. Would recommend!

  • Kathy
    2018-12-28 00:59

    A novel set during the Holocaust that chronicles the experiences of two 9-year old boys; one Jewish, the other not, and the hardships they endure in pre-WWII Vienna. Written at a very low level, it's too easy a read and too uninformative for true enjoyment. It seems utterly improbable and it doesn't even resolve the overall problem of what's going to happen to the 2 protagonists. Maybe adequate for third or fourth-graders.

  • Russell
    2019-01-01 21:42

    This young adult novel is an intriguing insight into the situation of Austrian Jews just before the outbreak of World War II. The author was a Polish Jew living in exile in USA and who was shocked to see the escalation in the persecution of Jews when visiting Europe in the late 1930s. It is somewhat chilling to note that this short novel was written before the world knew about Nazi death camps and the Holocaust.

  • Keith
    2019-01-20 00:56

    Poignant YA novel about two boys who are close friends in Vienna after the Nazis take over in about 1939. One is a Jew and they both have lost their parents. They are helped at one point by a couple of "rightous gentile" freedom fighters. This is a good one to read for Holocaust studies. It does not go into the detention camps but it is an early outcry against them. Originally in Yiddish, it was first written in 1940 in the U.S.

  • Jan
    2019-01-24 05:06

    Written in the form of a suspense novel, Emil & Karl draws readers into the dilemma faced by two young boys--one Jewish, the other not--when they suddenly find themselves without homes or families in Vienna on the eve of World War II. A taut, gripping page-turner, it offers a picture of life during the period and the moral challenges faced under Nazism--and a prescient glimpse of the early days of the Holocaust.

  • Alison Kennedy
    2018-12-29 04:04

    It is hard to believe that this was written in 1940 - even by then the author (and the world) were aware of some of the horrible things happening to Europeans Jews. Yet not everyone seemed to realise how wrong it was and could not foresee how bad it would get. The book feels incredibly insightful and I would make sure that every young person reads it and understands the historical context.

  • Shahjy
    2018-12-25 02:05

    This is such a haunting book. Emil and Karl go through so much and this is just a tiny representation of the full scale of the holocaust; it's terrifying to know how powerless ordinary people were and although it seems to be a happy ending, I can't help but feel that something very sinister is around the corner.

  • Rachel
    2018-12-28 22:40

    Exciting and heartbreaking book about two boys whose families are killed by Nazis. One for being socialist and one for being Jewish. They try to survive on the streets of Vienna together. This book was actually written before the end of WWII so the author did not know which side would win. Very riveting.

  • Chloe
    2019-01-21 22:54

    I didn't really have a connection with this book. I didn't really enjoy it but it was a real attention grabber! It was about a boy who's mom got taken away from him. I don't want to give out spoilers so you will just have to read the rest and see what happens next. It takes place in the Holocaust, and is a story about friendship in a devastating time in history.

  • Kari
    2019-01-12 23:45

    Originally published in Yiddish in 1940. This story of two boys - one Jewish and one not - just before WWII, is gutsy. It respects that children should know what happened and that they can handle it. The specific detailed experiences of the treatment of Jews and those that tried to help them are vivid and heart-wrenching. The story is timeless because it's so honest.

  • Emily
    2019-01-21 03:09

    When I started reading, I did not expect to be moved or impressed by this book, but the writing is simple and perfect for young children and the story becomes more horrible and compelling as it continues. Originally written in Yiddish and published in 1940, this is one of the first fictional accounts of the Holocaust. Very powerful.