The friendship of a Jewish rabbi and a Catholic altar boy in 1940s Brooklyn. The rabbi, a Czech who fled the Nazis on the eve of World War II, teaches the boy Judaism while the boy, who is Irish, teaches the rabbi English and baseball. When anti-Semitic hoods attack the rabbi, the boy goes to his defense.
When a gang of hoods terrorizes the neighborhood, Michael has to stand up to them--but not alone. The surprising ending is rousing and more than a little magic.
The boy has 2 best friends but he learned who his best friends REALLY are when tragedy strikes.
This is the first book that I've read by Mr. Hammill. I wouldn't mind reading another by him.
The friendship between Michael and the Rabbis is beautifully related, as they seal an agreement for Michael to teach the Czechoslovakian Rabbis English and the mysteries of baseball while in return he receives instruction in Yiddish. Michael learns a lot more besides, including much of the history of the Jews in Prague, and becomes an avid student lapping up all he is taught, something which he extends to his school work.
Michael is a delightful boy, a good kid with an insatiable appetite for learning, true to his ideals. Snow in August is a charming story, at times funny, full of hope and the power of faith and of good over evil; it is also a story of what some might call magic, yet believers a miracle.
There are many side-stories about Jewish history, Jackie Robinson, and life in New York... sometimes you wonder where they are going but it all fits together in the end.
Set in a working-class Brooklyn neighborhood in 1947, this poignant tale revolves around two of the most endearing characters in recent fiction: an 11-year-old Irish Catholic boy named Michael Devlin and Rabbi Judah Hirsch, a refugee from Prague.