SWORN ENEMIES (Laurel-Leaf Books)

Book SWORN ENEMIES (Laurel-Leaf Books)

Book details

- By: Carol Matas(Author)
- Language: English
- Format: PDF - Djvu
- Pages:Unknown
- Publisher: Laurel Leaf (February 1, 1994)
- Bestsellers rank: 8
- Category: Teen & Young Adult
*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
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Aaron and Zev have been protected from serving in  the Czar's army for very different reasons--Aaron's  father has always paid to keep his scholarly son  free. Zev takes the job of khapper, kidnapping  other poor, young Jewish boys to fulfill the czar's  army quotas.

Zev's jealousy of  Aaron turns to hate when he discovers that the girl  he loves is to marry Aaron. When Zev decides to  rid himself of Aaron forever, he kidnaps him and  turns him over to serve in the army. He knows  Aaron's fate is sealed--few survive the forced labor. A  trick of fate, however, pits the boys against each  other face-to-face. Sworn enemies, they must  endure the cruel captivity together. Will they join  forces to survive or will they destroy each other?

PW called this tale of young Jewish boys conscripted into the czar's army "a gripping novel out of an overlooked chapter of history." Ages 12-up. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. Grade 5-9-- Set in Czarist Russia in 1851, this novel addresses the issue of forced conscription into the army. According to the introduction, Jewish children were recruited at the age of 12 in preparation for military service, but conversion to Christianity was the primary goal; this was accomplished by both physical and emotional torture. In alternating chapters, Aaron and Zev (the "sworn enemies" of the title) offer their first-person narrations. Aaron, a brilliant Yeshiva student, is captured by Zev, who is working to fulfill the town's military quota. Through a series of quirks and mishaps, Zev ends up in the same battalion. The two escape from the army in a manner that strains credibility; they remain enemies to the end. In this historical adventure, the one-dimensional characters are entirely predictable in actions and thoughts. A good deal of melodramatic soul-searching takes place; unanswerable questions are posed and pondered. Average readers are unlikely to understand the nuances of Orthodox Jewish belief and observance described, making this book more suitable for those with some familiarity with such customs. --Susan Kaminow, Arlington County Public Library, VACopyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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  • By Burt Lee Liberty on October 30, 2011

    My class had to read this for English class in 8th grade. I hated it and it was my least favorite book. I believe I especially took a dislike to the ending. I think the main reason I didn't like it was because Aaron was really not much better than Zev.I purchased the book on this site so I could read it again for old time's sake, not really expecting to change my opinion. Early on I thought "man, this is pretty dark for middle schoolers!" There's also some pretty grim stuff in other young adult literature.Pretty quickly I was surprised at the quality of the writing. The entire work is written from a male first person point of view, and Carol does a splendid job getting in the male mind for this book. In that regard, Zev confronting his love interest Miriam is quite good indeed.It's obvious that a lot of research went into this book, and it's nice to be exposed to this unsung portion of history. The characters are believable. The sworn enemies of the title are crafted very well. Zev is a Shakespearean louse, constructed quickly and effectively. Job from The Bible is mentioned early on, and Aaron definitely shares some of his characteristics. His trials are handled well, and there's a particularly memorable scene where he and his fellows are forced to strip and wash off in a dirty body of water. This is a good story and a heck of an author!

  • By A customer on March 19, 1998

    I am a Jewish person, and reading this book has even taught ME more about my faith's tragic history, and it's triumphs as well. I was forced to read this book as part of a report due tommorrow (3/20/1998) and once I started, I was hooked. I had the honor of meeting the author, but had never realized the greatness of her works. I know that I will soon seek out more of her works, and I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, or Jewish history.

  • By A customer on June 19, 1998

    I read this book for a school book report, and it turned out to be so interesting that I coulnd't put it down. The characters of Zev and Aaron are easy to identify with and amazingly realistic. The events are very exciting and it keeps you in suspense. It also teaches you about some of the horrible things that Jews have had to go through. You should definitely read this book!

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