Soumchi should be considered the definition of a novella. It’s 53 pages of compact, dazzling brilliance. It is a simple story which conveys boundless meanings both modest and diverse, set in Jerusalem directly after WWII. Eleven year old Soumchi is given a bicycle which sets off a chain of events as he exchanges one possession for another, each almost like a shining icon with its own specific meaning. Oz shows a remarkable ability to stay true to his character and expand him fully into a multi-faceted jewel. Soumchi is a concise read which enhances each person’s view on life, possessions, and how tender life and far-reaching imagination can be at such a sensitive age.