Everything you need to understand or teach The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosiński.
The Painted Bird starts in a large Eastern European city, in the fall of 1939. A six-year-old Jewish boy is sent by his parents to live in a village, while the parents go into hiding. World War II has just begun and Jews in German-occupied countries are being executed or sent to concentration camps. Within two months, Marta, the woman who is taking care of the boy, dies, leaving him alone to fend for himself. He is soon taken in by a farmer, who beats him. One day, an elderly woman called Olga the Wise One buys him and takes him to her hut. She teaches him valuable survival skills, including how to build and use a "comet," a can filled with slow burning materials that provide a constant heat source. She is the first one to tell him an evil spirit possesses him. Others in the village fear him... View more of the The Painted Bird Summary