HOPE IN MY HEART by Kathryn Lasky


Sofia’s Immigrant Diary, Book One
Age Range: 7 - 10
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Nine million immigrants came to the US between 1880 and 1900, and this entry in the My America series is the fictional diary of one such immigrant: nine-year-old Sofia Monari, from Italy. When Sofia’s grandparents die and the family farm goes to her father’s oldest brother, as was custom, the family decides to come to America. Lasky creates a character and tells the story, personal and anecdotal, of one girl’s journey. Lasky’s polished writing captures the thoughts and feelings of a young girl, sticking mostly to such telling details as throw-up buckets, a mysterious stowaway, a dead mouse in a coffee cup, tortellini dreams, mean nurses, and kind friends. Like one in five immigrants, Sofia is quarantined on Ellis Island and separated from her family. After much loneliness, she finds a new friend in Maureen O’Malley and is helped by Father Finnegan to reunite with her family. Book Two, Home in My Heart (ISBN: 0-439-44963-4), continues Sofia’s story and the move to Boston, where the Monaris create a life for themselves in America. Hopkinson’s Shutting Out the Sky (p. 1175) makes a good nonfiction companion. (historical note) (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-439-18875-X
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2003


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