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by Linda Glaser

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-56301-6
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Hard as he tries, eight-year-old Fivel can’t remember his father’s face. Living in a Polish shtetl in 1920, Fivel dreams of escaping poverty, Cossacks and pogroms and reuniting with his father in America. When the chance comes and his family finally arrives at Ellis Island, he sees the Statue of Liberty and thinks, “If they had a statue like this for someone like me, it must be a good place to live.” But the early days in a new country are a mixed blessing, especially when Fivel is obsessed with becoming an American and erasing his Polish past. Fortunately, he comes to see that he is a boy with two worlds inside; he didn’t have to give up his old life in favor of the new. Based closely on the experiences of a man in her community, Glaser’s first novel is an inspirational story that’s clearly a labor of love and tribute. A fine addition to collections on the immigrant experience. (author’s note, historical afterword, glossary) (Fiction. 8-12)