WAITING FOR MAMA by Marietta Moskin


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The Lower East Side life of Russian/Jewish immigrants, as experienced by Becky, who has come over with her father, brother and older sister Rachel though Mama and the baby were barred from passage because the baby got sick. As Mama had to use her boat fare to return to Russia, the rest of the family must work and save up for a new ticket--all except Becky, who has to go to school instead but wishes she could do her part. Then Papa, who presses suits, finally amasses enough pennies and nickels to send for Mama, Rachel begins doing extra sewing late at night so that she can buy material to make her mother a coat, and Becky sneaks out of bed to help, earning enough pennies to buy silver buttons for the coat. Much of the interest lies in the drabness and poverty of the milieu, which is appropriately conveyed by Lebenson's sentimental-realistic black wash illustrations--and if that final huddled family portrait with the Statue of Liberty in the background crosses the border into heart-clenching cliche, Lebenson is only taking his cue from the text.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1975
Page count: 91pp
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan