Against the backdrop of World War II, Myron Levoy’s Alan and Naomi tells the story of a friendship between 12 year old Alan Silverman and Naomi Kirschenbaum. Alan is “just Alan,” a sensitive young boy growing up in Queens, New York. He is forced by his parents to befriend Naomi, a French girl his age who has fled France with her mother after witnessing her father’s death at the hands of the Gestapo. At the story’s opening, Naomi is catatonic, trapped in a prison of terrifying images her mind cannot release. What begins as a burden for Alan is transformed into a beautiful friendship—ultimately, into his first romantic attachment. Through each other, Alan and Naomi discover the joys of friendship as well as the agonizing decisions that accompany the adult world or responsibility and commitment. This teaching guide includes an overview discussing the themes, structures and style of the book; discussion questions, writing topics and project activities for each chapter, as well as reproducible pages for students and readers of all ages.
Copies of A Literature Guide to Alan and Naomi: By Myron Levoy can be purchased directly from the author for $30 plus $6.85 for shipping by clicking the Paypal button. Contact Ellen Gordon Reeves for more information.