Uri Orlev

Uri Orlev (Hebrew: אורי אורלב; born 24 February 1931) is an Israeli children's author and translator of Polish-Jewish origin. He received the international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1996 for his "lasting contribution to children's literature."[1][2]


Uri Orlev, born Jerzy Henryk Orlowski, was born in Warsaw, Poland, the son of a physician. During World War II he lived in the Warsaw Ghetto until his mother was killed by the Nazis, and he was then sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. After the war he moved to Israel. He began writing children's literature in 1976 and has since published over 30 books, which are often biographical. His books have been translated from Hebrew into 36 languages. Orlev has also translated Polish literature into Hebrew. Uri Orlev was later interviewed in the documentary film "Life is Strange" not only on his book, but also on his life before World War II.

Orlev is married with two sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren.[3]

Awards and critical acclaim

The biennial Hans Christian Andersen Award conferred by the International Board on Books for Young People is the highest recognition available to a writer or illustrator of children's books. Orlev received the writing award in 1996.[1][2] The jury stated:

Uri Orlev's experience as a Jewish boy in war-torn Poland is the background of this outstanding writer for children. Whether his stories are set in the Warsaw ghetto or his new country Israel, he never loses the perspective of the child he was. He writes at a high literary level, with integrity and humor, in a way which is never sentimental, exhibiting the skill to say much in few words. Uri Orlev shows how children can survive without bitterness in harsh and terrible times.

In 2006, he was awarded the Bialik Prize for literature (jointly with Ruth Almog and Raquel Chalfi).[4]

In the U.S., four books by Orlev have won the Batchelder Award in English-language translations by Hillel Halkin published by Houghton Mifflin. The annual American Library Association award recognizes the "children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States". The four American titles were The Island on Bird Street, The Man from the Other Side, The Lady with the Hat, and Run, Boy, Run, published from 1984 to 2003 by Houghton Mifflin, eventually by its Walter Lorraine Books imprint.[5]

Published works

Book nameHebrew nameYearPublisher
Till Tomorrow עד מחר 1958 Am Oved
The Last Summer Vacation חופשת הקיץ האחרונה 1968 Daga
Books for children and young adults
The Lead Soldiers חיילי עופרת 1956 Sifriyat Po'alim
The Thing in the Dark חיית החושך 1976 Am Oved
It's Hard to Be a Lion קשה להיות אריה 1979 Am Oved
The Island on Bird Street האי ברחוב הציפורים 1981 Keter
The Wings Turn תור הכנפיים 1981 Massada
Big Brother אח בוגר 1983 Keter
The Dragon's Crown כתר הדרקון 1986 Keter
The Man from the Other Side האיש מן הצד האחר 1988 Keter
The Lady with the Hat הגברת עם המגבעת 1990 Keter
Lydia, Queen of Palestine לידיה מלכת ארץ ישראל 1991 Keter
A Mouthful of Meatball קציצה מהצהריים 1995 Keter
Last of Kin רחוקי משפחה 1996 Keter
The Sandgame משחק החול 1996 Keter
The Wandering Family המשפחה הנודדת 1997 Keter
The Song of the Whales שיר הלוויתנים 1997 Keter
Run, Boy, Run רוץ, ילד, רוץ 2001 Keter
Poems from Bergen-Belsen (1944) שירים מברגן-בלזן 2005 Yad VaShem
Picture books
The Big-Little Girl
illustrated by Jacky Gleich
קטנה-גדולה 1977 Keter
Noon Thoughts מחשבות צהריים 1978 Sifriyat Po'alim
A Hole in the Head משגעת פילים 1979 Keter
illustrated by David Gerstein
סיאמינה 1979 Am Oved
The Lion Shirt / A Lion for Michael
illustrated by Jacky Gleich
חולצת האריה 1979 Massada
The Black Cloud הענן השחור 1979 Massada
How Mr. Cork Made the Brain Work מעשה במנוח שהפעיל את המוח 1979 Massada
The Good-Luck Pacifier
illustrated by Jacky Gleich
מוצץ המזל 1980 Am Oved
Granny Knits
illustrated by Ora Eytan
סבתא סורגת 1980 Massada
Mr. Mayor ראש העיר תן לשיר 1980 Massada
How to Be Four מסע לגיל ארבע 1985 Am Oved
On the Wrong Side of the Bed על צד שמאל 1985 Keter
Hairy Tuesday
illustrated by Jacky Gleich
חפיפת ראש 1988 Keter


External links

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