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THE SEQUOIA CHILDREN
By: BEN ARI, Gon
Young Adult, 2010
The History of Love meets The Boy in the Striped Pajamas in Gon Ben Ari's speculative Young Adult novel.
A vaccine administered at birth that allows children to live to be 1,000 years old. These children become known as the Sequoia Children, after the giant redwoods that are the oldest trees on earth. They develop a unique consciousness, forsaking traditional education, fearing death while at the same time knowing that they will far outlive their parents, siblings and friends.
Nikolina, one of the Sequoia Children, is on a quest to decode one of the last things that her grandfather wrote before he died. When she receives a cryptic letter from her grandfather written after his death, she doesn’t know that it is actually Itamar, a clerk at a local post-office, who has written it. Itamar, who is in love with Nikolina.
The narrative weaves back and forth between future Nahalal, and the pre- and post-Holocaust world of Chernovitz, telling the story of Nikolina’s grandfather Grisha Fischer, Inon Schechter - the inventor of the Sequoia Vaccine, and Vladimir Ivanovich Sadovnik - “the inventor of infinite loves,” when they were all children hiding in the woods together.
A richly imagined tale set in the darkest of times, Gon Ben Ari explores the tension between memory and reality, between the recognition of mortality and the urge to last forever, between a forced loss of innocence and an impassioned attempt to regain it.
Rights Sold to:
"I read this book for many days. I dipped in, out, became excited, angry, I was inside of it and I was outside of it and now I write a bit like the book reads…This young man, Gon Ben-Ari, wrote an astonishing riddle of a book which shines in its beauty, luster and strength." – Yoram Kaniuk, Ha’aretz
“This novel is original, full of imagination, humor, wit, passion and energy. Gon Ben Ari is a true force, a storyteller. [He] reveals a talent of invention no less than brilliant in its scope.” – Arik Glasner, Maariv
“Turns the regular patterns of the world upside-down.” – Yotam Schwimmer, YNET