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Journey to America Paperback – April 30, 1987
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About the Author
Charles M. Robinson III is a native of Texas and a graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin and the University of Texas Pan American. He is the author of several books on the Old West, including Bad Hand: A Biography of General Ranald S. Mackenzie, which won the Texas Historical Commission's T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award in 1993, and A Good Year to Die. He lives in San Benito, Texas.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lisa Platt, our young protagonist, grew up in Berlin, Germany during the beginning of Hitler's rise to power. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Christina Thompson
Looks like a Perma bound old paperback. Nonetheless an enjoyable read.Published on July 24, 2014 by LIBRARIAN
Daughter loved the book. She read it because it was on her Summer reading list, but came away deeply moved by the story.Published on July 9, 2014 by J. Park
Great young people's book with some good hitorical insight. My 5th grade son read it for school and liked it. I liked that the "protagonist" was female.Published on March 27, 2014 by Sherry
I hate the book so much I hated to read it. It is about some stupid girls. IT IS STUPID!!!Published on January 12, 2014 by ross taddeo
My son enjoyed this book as a summer read. He took it on vacation and could not carried it along everywhere we went until he read it completely. would recommend it.Published on August 25, 2013 by claudine Demesmin
Although it was written in 1970, this story holds up well if you look past the dated cover. Set in Berlin, in 1938, this is the story of Lisa Platt, her older sister Annie and... Read morePublished on August 5, 2013 by Maggie Knapp