IMMIGRANT GIRL: Becky of Eldrige Street by Brett Harvey

IMMIGRANT GIRL: Becky of Eldrige Street

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A talented author-artist duo combine again to give a miniature of a historic period through portrayal of a child's daily life. Unlike last year's My Prairie Year, this is not based on a specific primary source. Its heroine, Becky Moscowitz, functions as a prototype. The year is 1910; she and her family have recently escaped Russian pogroms to take up residence over a grocery store on N.Y.C.'s Lower East Side. The book, in picture-book format, describes their everyday experiences during the first year: their crowded life in a three-room flat; Becky's adjustments to school; her Aunt Sonia's work in a garment factory. Social forces affecting them are depicted in the strike meeting to which Sonia takes Becky and in the struggles that the grandmother has when she sees the family changing in their new environment. A hopeful note sounds in the conclusion as Becky makes plans to introduce newly arriving relatives to the wonders of her new home. To anyone familiar with the many immigrant stories about New York City, much of this is familiar. Thus, this lacks the immediacy and freshness of the previous title. Nevertheless, it is an accessible, well-written and illustrated book about a basic American experience.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1987
Publisher: Holiday House