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Journey to America Paperback – April 30, 1987

25 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Journey to America Series

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; 2 edition (April 30, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689711301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689711305
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My life is mainly devoted to friends and family, my writing and my home. I enjoy hiking in the mountains, especially with my dogs. You can see their pics on my web page, and also pics of my family andfriends. I like to traveling to interesting places. I've been to Europe, parts of Asia, Hawaii, and many beautiful places in the U.S. My most exciting new project is working with a great team on creating a musical based on my novel The Return. We plan the premier in fall, 2006, and now we're casting and soon going into rehearsal.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By amy menard on April 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Lisa Plat and her family live in Berlin, Germany during a time of great Jewish persecution. Although not everyone agreed that all the Jews were in danger, Lisa and her family feared the future. Her father decided that it would be best for them to try and escape to America where they could live freely. However, due to lack of money and a place to live he would have to go ahead and send for his family later. Soon after arriving in America he sent word that Lisa, along with her mother and sisters would have to travel to Switzerland and wait there until further notice. They said goodbye to all of the people they loved and all the familiar things they new, to move to a strange place where they had little money, no decent shelter and no friends. Many months of struggle lay ahead for Lisa and her family but the outcome proves to be worthwhile.
Even in the face of a life and death crisis, it takes a special kind of courage to leave everything, to face poverty and to begin again in wholly new surroundings. Journey to America is a children's book that I truly enjoyed. The reader feels as though they traveled back in time to the 1930's and walked in the shoes of a Jewish citizen of Germany in a time of Nazi domination. It helps the reader to understand the many hardships Jews faced and have a more clear comprehension of the true blessing of freedom. This is a story of triumph and success that will warm your heart and open your mind.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Allyn on July 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
This was one of the first books I read about the Holocaust, and as I re-read just a few days ago, I can certainly see why I loved it so much. "Journey To America" is the story of Lisa Platt, who, along with her mother and sisters, escapes form 1938 Berlin to Switzerland to escape persecuction of the Jews. Not only is she torn from her familiar home, she and her mother and sisters are without Lisa's father, who went to America and had them wait in Switzerland until he could send for them. The thing that makes this book memorable are the very believable emotions that Lisa and her family have...saying good-bye to their beloved housekeeper, leaving treasured belongings behind, and living with terrible uncertainty and little money in Switzerland. It is all told though first-person perspective by Lisa, and it brings a "personal" touch to the Holocaust. "Journey To America" shows us another heart-wrenching journey to the "land of the free" far different than the that of Pilgrims.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gale Finlayson on July 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Germany in 1938 was gradually becoming an unpleasant and even dangerous place to live--especially for the Jewish population, as Hitler's Youth Groups roamed the streets taunting and tormenting those who did not represent Nazi views re mankind's best genetics. Realizing the increasing threat to their livelihood, possessions and very lives, the Platt parents made the agonizing decision to emigrate to American via Switzerland. Papa, a tailor, will travel abroad first and send for them later; this dreaded separation will last a year--a time during which will require all the moral resources they have inspired in their children to keep their family values and memory intact.

Related in the first person by Lisa, the middle daughter, this story chronicles not only the trip itself, but a young girl's emotions as she is obliged to leave her beloved city of Berlin and best friend Rosemarie. Lisa must face unknown hardships in neutral Switzerland--keeping in mind the future daunting challenge of learning English in America some day. Barely crossing the border legally Mother is faced with the problems of poverty, unemployment and housing for all 4 of them. They try a boarding house, a charity camp for children, place their hopes in an Agency for Refugees, and finally are welcomed into the homes of compassionate Swiss citizens.

Despite incredible hardship and privation, and Mother's bout with pneumonia, this family remains a cohesive unit even when scattered. Lisa loses her naivete about life and Ruth grows up in one short year, as both girls come to respect human interdependence. It is their family loyalty which provides them with the inner fortitude to endure poverty, persecution and prolonged separation. With its tense but straightforward storyline this book would appeal to girls 12 and up.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is about A girl named Lisa who lives in Germany. She is Jewish as well of the rest of her family. It was a dangerous time for the jews so her dad went to America hoping to find a better future for his family. During that time her, her 2 sisters, and her mother went to Switzerland to wait for their dad to send for them. During that time they have to make many sacrifices of leaving their belongings in Germany and starting a new life. In Switzerland they also have troubles with money. When will their dad send for them? Read this book and find out! This book helped me learn more about the jews and their persecutions as a jew.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on March 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: read aloud to the 10yo as part of our history curriculum.

This is a gentle, quiet story that is suitable for younger children (as a read loud) since it deals with the very early days of Hitler's Germany, making one aware of the need for escape in those early days and how fortunate were those who did manage to leave Germany before the atrocities began. The story is told from Lisa's point of view, the second oldest girl of three, perhaps 11 years old. Their father has decided that they will leave for America, so he goes first in order to get a job, a place to live and earn enough money for the tickets for boat passage for the others. Lisa, Ruth (the older sister), little Annie and mother must now fend for themselves until the time comes.

The reader learns what it was like in Germany for the Jews in those early days as their rights were slowly being taken from them. Then father tells them they must go to Switzerland for safety immediately and here the majority of the book takes place as the three girls and the mother are separated from each other as they are looked after by different refugee helper families. They don't loose contact though and life goes on through this tough and emotional time for them until finally just after hearing devastating news from Berlin, Father sends the boat tickets for them to join him.

An interesting story, full more of personal drama set against the background of a turbulent time rather than outside drama of the era since we are only at the very beginnings of Hitler's Germany here. A tale that tells the pressure of leaving one's home and becoming refugee status in another country, accepting help but really unable to do much for oneself, the waiting for the future to come and the worry for the loved ones left behind.
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