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Michael Halperin Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

story book jacob rescue

Male.

Addresses

Agent—George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic, 65 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10012.

Career

Screenwriter and children's book author.

Honors Awards

Best Book designation, American Bookseller's Association, 1993, and Teachers Choice award, International Reading Association, and Notable Children's Trade Book designation, Childrens Book Council/National Council for Social Studies, both 1994, all for Jacob's Rescue: A Holocaust Story.

Writings

FOR CHLDREN

(With Malka Drucker) Jacob's Rescue: A Holocaust Story, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1993.

Black Wheels, XLibris (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.

OTHER

Writing Great Characters: The Psychology of Character Development in Screenplays, Lone Eagle (Los Angeles, CA), 1996.

Writing the Second Act: Building Conflict and Tension in Your Film Script, Michael Wiese Productions (Studio City, CA), 2000.

Writing the Killer Treatment: Selling Your Story without a Script, Michael Wiese Production (Studio City, CA), 2002.

Also author of numerous television-series screenplays.

Sidelights

Taking a break from his career as a television screen-writer, Michael Halperin has collaborated with coauthor Malka Drucker on Jacob's Rescue, an award winning children's story that focuses on the Holocaust. In the 1993 novel, eight-year-old Marissa learns the story of her father Jacob and her uncle David's experiences under the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II. While living in a Warsaw ghetto as children, and fearing deportation and death from starvation, the two young brothers are smuggled out of the ghetto and taken in by a non-Jewish couple who risk their own lives in order to save the boys. "This is a heartening story of great courage in the midst of the madness of war," commented Horn Book reviewer Hanna B. Zeiger, explaining that the novel is based on a true story. While noting that "the most heroic gestures don't quite ring true," a Publishers Weekly critic nonetheless had praise for Jacob's Rescue, writing that Halperin and Drucker "are much better at the smaller moments," enough of which "exist to engage the reader's imagination, if not to infuse the story with unflappable authenticity."

Halperin's book Black Wheels is also based on a true story. The book follows an African-American teen living during the late nineteenth century who runs away from home. Joining the U.S. Army's all-black Twenty-fifth Infantry, he soon finds himself trekking across North America on a bicycle, in a novel that Voice of Youth Advocates contributor Susan Allen dubbed "a gem." Praising the story as "well told," Allen added that Black Wheels contains "real nuggets of irony throughout" and predicted that the book would be a hit with teen readers.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Horn Book, September-October, 1993, Hanna B. Zeiger, review of Jacob's Rescue: A Holocaust Story, p. 596.

Publishers Weekly, May 10, 1993, review of Jacob's Rescue, p. 72.

Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 2003, Susan Allen, review of Black Wheels, p. 393.

Writer, March, 2003, Chuck Leddy, "Hollywood Veterans Share Writing, Marketing Tips," p. 50.

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