Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Entertainer and the Dybbuk” as Want to Read:
The Entertainer and the Dybbuk
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Entertainer and the Dybbuk

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  536 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Avrom Amos likes to crack jokes. He loves the spotlight. And if he wants something, he knows how to get it. He's just like any other boy, except for one thing: He's a ghost—a dybbuk. During World War Two he'd been murdered by the Nazis, right after he saved the life of a young ventriloquist named Freddie.

Freddie doesn't know it yet, but he's about to return the favor. Beca
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Greenwillow Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Entertainer and the Dybbuk

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  536 ratings  ·  113 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Entertainer and the Dybbuk
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Nazis! No one wants to think about the war anymore. It's over."
"Not for me it's over," said the dybbuk. "I have unfinished business."

The Great Freddie, a so-so ventriloquist, is struggling with his act, when he finds himself possessed by a dybbuk who is the ghost of a twelve-year-old boy. The kid may have been the victim of Nazis, but the he managed to keep his sense of humor even after death, and his jokes are way funnier than Freddie's. Soon the show is a hit, but the dybbuk has a secret ag
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very unusual idea. I didn't like this book nearly as much as I thought I would. It was way too far-fetched. I did like the ending though. The ending may have saved it for me. Still, I wouldn't recommend it to my students, and it was them I had in mind when I began reading it. For that, it was a disappointment.
Alex  Baugh
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
I had a hard time getting into The Entertainer and the Dybbuk because I don’t like ventriloquists and their dummies. I have always found something creepy about them. But I pushed past my dislike and I am so glad I did.

The Entertainer and the Dybbuk begins in 1948 in Vienna, Austria amid the ruins of World War II. Freddie the Great is an ex-American serviceman who has decided to remain in Europe and is working as a third rate entertainer in third rate dives. His problem is that he isn’t a very go
RJ McGill
Aug 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ages 9-14
Shelves: reviewed
Like so many things in life the story contains mystery, beauty, enchantment and horror. Dybbuk is Hebrew for "cleaving to" -- and remains one of the most enduring beliefs in Jewish folklore. This is the basis for Sid Fleischman's new book which reveals age appropriate information about the harsh cruelty inflicted upon the Jews during the Holocaust in a highly entertaining and unique way.

When twelve year old Avrom Amos, a dybbuk takes up residence in the body of an American ventriloquist what e
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
World War II is over and Freddie, a young ex-soldier, is trying to make his living as a ventriloquist. The only problem is that he isn't that good at throwing his voice without moving his lips. This situation is quickly solved when he suddenly finds himself possessed by a Dybbuk, a young jewish ghost named Avrom Amos who was killed by an SS officer during the war. Avrom wants revenge on those who killed him. He also wants people to remember the terrible fate that came to the millions of jewish c ...more
Shannon Hitchcock
I enjoy reading authors who build a wonderful story with minimum words. Author Sid Fleischman has that uncanny ability to make every word count.

In this story, Avrom Amos was killed by the Nazis before his bar mitzvah. He becomes a Jewish ghost and decides to possess the body of a young ventriloquist named Freddie.

Sid Fleischman doesn't shy away from the horrors of the Holocaust, but he presents the facts in a unique and clever way...through the mouth of a ventiloquist's dummy.

Jul 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, jf
This book is odd. Very odd. It may be the oddest dealing-with-the-Holocaust book I have ever read. It was enjoyable. I liked Avrom's humour, and I liked that there was humour in the book at all. I liked Polly's enjoyment when she introduced her KKK uncle to her supposedly Jewish fiance. But I'm not sure how a child would react to this book. I'm not sure how I reacted to this book. It's just so odd.
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: jewish

Format: Audio CD
Age level: Middle school
Protagonist: Fred T. Burch, and American, and Avram Amos, a Jewish Dybbuk

This story revolves around two very different characters, Freddie and Avram. Freddie is a former American G.I. and a so-so ventriloquist. He has stayed in Europe following the war, trying to work as an entertainer. Avram Amos is a dybbuk, which is a Jewish spirit. He comes to Freddie because he needs help completing "unfinished business." Avram ends u
Sandra Stiles
I first picked up this book because it had a ventriloquist dummy on the cover. I was not sure what a dybbuk was but learned that it was the equivalent of a Jewish Ghost. This is the story of a ventriloquist who is not very successful. That is until he returns to his room one night and finds someone waiting. He finds out the someone is a dybbuk. He wants something from the Ventriloquist. He needs to inhabit his body in exchange he will help him. Against the entertainer's wishes the dybbuk enters ...more
Lindsay Lander
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm trying to muddle my way through all of the Georgia Children's Book Award nominees to read with my Reading Bowl Team. I've only read 4 out of the 18 books, whereas some of my students have read all of the books (fast, little readers they are!). We don't read them in any certain order - just as long as they get read. I'm certainly glad I chose this one to read next because I realize now that my students have no idea what they were reading about. We've been discussing each book, but the reading ...more
Christine Kloss
May 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: jessica-s-class
Best Books for Young Adults--Controversial topic: violence and revenge

This is a story about a very untalented ventriloquist who is living over in Europe after WWII. He becomes possessed by a dybbuk who was killed by Nazi soldiers along with his sister. The dybbuk begins to speak through The Great Freddie. Although Freddie is reluctant to this plan he goes along with it to continue working and he begins to have sympathy for the dybbuk and the tragedy that happened towards him and the other Jewish
Carol Baldwin
Jun 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Full Cast Audio does a nice job of providing voices for this humorous yet serious story of a post WWIII ex-GI turned ventriloquist. Freddie T. Birch is a ventriloquist without an act-- until he is possessed by a dybbuk, a Jewish ghost, with an agenda of his own. Even if you don’t listen to this as an audio book, the clever story will entertain and inform readers from ages 10 and up.
The author, Sid Fleischman, uses humor to tell the painful story of a 12-year-old Jewish boy, Avrom Amos, who was
Logan Braden
May 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
The story is set just after the end of World War II. Freddie is an American soldier who has remained in Europe after the war. He is a ventriloquist that performs in different clubs. Freddie is not particularly talented and audiences complain that they can see his lips move. After returning home from one of the clubs, Freddie finds the ghost of a young boy in his closet, or a dybbuk (which is a Jewish ghost or spirit).

The ghost is a twelve-year-old boy that was killed by the Nazis during the war
Dec 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Twilight Zone fans
This little book is a very quick read, and seemed like a good Twilight Zone episode.
The story takes place in 1948, and the central character is an ex-GI who stayed in Europe, hoping to become an entertainer there. He had been a performing ventriloquist before the war, but his original dummy had been destroyed, and he was out of practice. As a result, he was barely making a living as “The Great Freddie” with a second-rate act.
Then, one day, he encountered a dybbuk, the spirit of a Jewish child w
Newport Librarians
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fiction
Sid Fleischman's story involves an ex-GI who stays on in post-war Europe trying to make it as a ventriloquist and a murdered Jewish boy named Avrom Amos Poliakov. Freddie, the ventriloquist, isn't making it with a lame act, bad jokes, and little ability to throw his voice until Avrom Amos inhabits his body and speaks through his dummy. The act gets better, the jokes get better, but Freddie's life gets terribly complicated by this dead Jewish boy, now a "dybbuk" or spirit, who wants a Bar Mitzvah ...more
Michelle Pegram
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rll528-jewish
Set three years after World War 2 ended, The Entertainer and the Dybbuk tells the story of an American veteran turned mediocre ventriloquist as he plays for audiences in Vienna, Austria. One night after a performance, he is greeted by a young boy who is revealed to be a dybbuk, the spirit of a holocaust victim. "Think of me as a Jewish Imp," the boy says. "I need to possess someone's body for a while, rent free." So begins a relationship that makes a better entertainer of the American Vet and gi ...more
Feb 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: I really have no idea....
This book sort of baffled me.

It reads like a children's book, but no. Too many "assumed-understood" Holocaust references for today's kids.

I expected total creepiness, but no. Only minor creepiness. Most of the book is just about how Freddie the Great gets used to being possessed by the ghost of Avrom, a murdered Jewish boy, and how he becomes a famous ventriloquist and gets a girlfriend. That sounds less interesting than it is.

I think I wanted the dybbuk to be... I don't know, meaner, I guess.
Apr 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a quick read about a weighty topic. The book is physically smaller than many others, and there are relatively few words on a page compared to most other young adult novels. The author uses a dybbuk (or Jewish ghost) of a boy who was killed by a Nazi officer during World War II to talk about the Holocaust. This ghost befriends a struggling ventriloquist, enters his body, and helps the entertainer put on some great shows. But the dybbuk has a purpose and a plan ... I won't give more away, ...more
Mar 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
A short but powerful story about the child-killing that occured during the Holocaust.

A dybbuk (ghost) possesses a (not-so-great) American ventriloquist. While helping him to improve his act, the dybbuk tells his story ... and finds a way to make things right.

Fleischman finds ways to incorporate the differences between American Midwest culture and that of European Jews ... and shows some of the processes of rebuilding the ruins left in post-WWII Europe.

There are things that are atrocious that occ
Brandon O'Neill
Sep 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youthlit
This is a new twist on a World War II story. Freddie the Great is a former American GI who hangs around Europe with his ventriloquist act, which isn't so great. He meets and becomes some what of a friend to a dybbuk - the spirit of a murdered Jewish child. In life, the child helped Freddie the soldier and he promised to do what he could to repay him. Well, he was killed, but his spirit sill wants Freddie to make good on his promise. He helps Freddie with his act, while looking for the Nazi colo ...more
May 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: teen, top-teen-2009
Okay this is the premise of the book:

1. A WWII soldier is doing his gig as a ventriloquist in the year of 1948. (BTW he carried his dummy around Europe in battle. WHAT?)

2. He is approached by a dybbuk, the spirit of a dead 12 year old jewish boy. The boy asks if he can possess the ventriloquist to finish some unfinished business. The ventriloquist says no but the dybbuk does anyway.

3. The dybbuk takes over the ventriloquist's act to find the man who killed him and other Jewish kids during the wa
In the sizable body of teen Holocaust fiction, this book stands out as one of the only attempts to be funny about it. In post-WWII Europe, an American ventriloquist with limited talent is visited by a dybbuk, the ghost of a Jewish boy killed in the Holocaust. Despite the man's protests, the dybbuk possesses him and his dummy, much improving the show and furthering the dybbuk's plan to exact revenge on the Nazi who killed him. A bizarre premise that mostly worked for me, thanks to Fleischman's ex ...more
The Great Freddie isn’t; he’s a second string (or lower) American ventriloquist in 1948 touring Europe. When Avrom possesses his dummy, his act gets much better, and he gets some big bookings. Avrom was murdered when he was 12, so with Freddie’s help he becomes Bar Mitzvah. Then they find the Nazi who killed Avrom...

Ten to twelve year olds may be able to read this book, but older teenagers and adults who know more about the Holocaust may be a better audience.

I really enjoyed this little book.
Sep 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 7th - 8th grade boys or girls who are interested in Holocaust fiction
Just after World War II, an American ventriloquist named Freddie is possessed by a dybbuk - a Jewish spirit. Turns out it's the spirit of a young boy who was murdered during the Holocaust, but only after he saved Freddie's life. Now, he needs Freddie's help to find and avenge his murderer. The story has humor and pathos, and despite it's short length it's is a powerful tale of gratitude, human connections, prejudice, revenge and the horrors of war. I found it very engrossing.
Sue Black
Aug 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A dybbuk, a spirit, enters the body of Freddie, who is a vantriloquist. The dybbuk, Avrom Amos, brings the story of his death and the other Jewish children during the Holocaust to life through Freddie's shows. Freddie becomes extremely popular, and many people learn about the Holocaust, which leads Avrom to his murderer.
Chanelle Savich
A ventriloquist comes back from his show one night to find a ghost in his closet: a skinny, tall, raggedy ghost of a Jewish boy, murdered by the Nazis. Jewish ghosts, or spirits, are called dybbuks, and this dybbuk isn’t finished with life yet. He wants to find his killer and torment him. But when you’re a ghost, and you don’t know where your killer is, how do you torment the guy? This dybbuk has a plan: he’ll possess this ventriloquist, a guy he helped during life, until he finds the killer—and ...more
Mar 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: yteen-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I read The Entertainer and the Dybbuk by Sid Fleischman. This book was really condusing. It took me a while to understand what was happening. Ounce I got the story line I started to really like it. the main character is freddie. he was an american war vet who lived in europe. he is and ventriloquist with the dybbuk. he died at the age of 12 during the war against the nazis. The dybbuk was dark and was never in a happy mood. I liked freddie the most although he wasnt the best he still made the be ...more
Maria Antonia
I'm almost surprised that this is a kid's book. It has some pretty heavy themes. Especially with how children were hunted and killed during the Holocaust. It also focuses heavily on revenge.

Not that I don't think this book shouldn't exist. I found it very interesting history-wise and I would definitely recommend this to adults or teens.
Paco Solano
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
After what Freddie and the Dybbuk been through it's kind of disappointing that they separate from each other just so Freddie can get married. Some Jewish kid was killed and his spirit was with Freddie and that is the reason why Freddie's girlfriend didn't want o get married with.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
I just finished this book. 1 1 Jan 21, 2016 12:01PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #66 The Entertainer and the Dybbuk 1 2 Jul 12, 2014 01:55PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • When Aidan Became A Brother
  • Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You
  • Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story
  • Becoming Naomi León
  • Home of the Brave
  • New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story
  • Juna's Jar
  • Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
  • The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come
  • Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln
  • The Language of Angels: The Reinvention of Hebrew
  • Gathering Sparks
  • Red Kite, Blue Kite
  • My Grandfather's Coat
  • Stop! Bot!
  • 100 Cupboards  (100 Cupboards, #1)
  • So B. It (So B. It, #1)
  • The Door in the Wall
See similar books…
As a children's book author Sid Fleischman felt a special obligation to his readers. "The books we enjoy as children stay with us forever -- they have a special impact. Paragraph after paragraph and page after page, the author must deliver his or her best work." With almost 60 books to his credit, some of which have been made into motion pictures, Sid Fleischman can be assured that his work will m ...more

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We’ve got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
18 likes · 10 comments
“I remember as a child of eight being told by a young friend that I had killed Christ. That was news to me. It's a common experience for the Jewish young. Should later generations of Germans be burdened with the guilt arising from the profound inhumanity of their ancestors? Revenge may be sweet, but guilt is non-transferable. Still, hatreds survive with the persistence of cockroaches.” 6 likes
More quotes…