- File Size: 1019 KB
- Print Length: 176 pages
- Publisher: Lizzie Skurnick Books; Reissue edition (February 22, 2016)
- Publication Date: February 22, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01912KMM8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #856,817 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$12.99|
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A Papa Like Everyone Else Kindle Edition
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|Length: 176 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Grade Level: 4 - 9|
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The family in "A Papa Like Everyone Else" consists of two girls - approximately 11 and 7 years old when the book starts - and their mother, left behind in the Old Country (which was part of Hungary when their father emigrated in 1914 but becomes part of Czechoslovakia after the World War). They live in a small, ethnically-mixed village, among a few other Jewish families and some agreeable Christian neighbors who are ethnically Hungarian or Czech. Taylor makes a point of showing that the cultural differences between the Hungarians and Czechs are at least as great as those between Christians and Jews. The family does not encounter any religious persecution or discrimination, but they and their neighbors are poor, with few prospects for improvement. The father has left for New York to find a better living, but various misfortunes (including the war and the flu pandemic) have delayed his accumulating enough money to bring his family to the United States. When they finally cross the ocean in the early 1920s, it is not as the stereotypical immigrants crowded in steerage; they have a private cabin with a panel of push-buttons (which the children of course try out, summoning a steward, a stewardess, and a ship's officer).
Told mainly through the experience of the sensitive younger daughter, this book provides a vivid picture of a year's worth of childhood, with detailed descriptions of farm chores, "women's work," holiday activities (religious and secular), and personal highs and lows. Like the All-of-a-Kind books, but perhaps even more like the Little House books, it uses the specific experiences of one family to illuminate the lives of countless children of the same time and place. I only wish it followed the girls into their first encounters with New York! Perhaps Taylor was planning a sequel. I found myself hoping that young Gisella (apparently the "Gertrude" to whom the book is dedicated) found a path to fruit trees and clear blue skies in her new country, to compensate for the ones she lost.