How I Became an American

How I Became an American In in a small German town a traveler turns up spouting catchy songs about adventures in America To the townspeople the land sounds like paradise and ten year old Johann Bonfert is excited when

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  • Title: How I Became an American
  • Author: Karin Gündisch James Skofield
  • ISBN: 9780812648751
  • Page: 242
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In 1902 in a small German town a traveler turns up spouting catchy songs about adventures in America To the townspeople, the land sounds like paradise, and ten year old Johann Bonfert is excited when his own family begins planning a life overseas His father and brother leave early to find jobs in the steel mills of Ohio, and the rest of the family follows later in a longIn 1902 in a small German town a traveler turns up spouting catchy songs about adventures in America To the townspeople, the land sounds like paradise, and ten year old Johann Bonfert is excited when his own family begins planning a life overseas His father and brother leave early to find jobs in the steel mills of Ohio, and the rest of the family follows later in a long, miserable sea journey Johann soon discovers, however, that it s not easy to start life from scratch America s not paradise, and assimilation can be difficult, especially for grown ups Author Karin Gundisch s American debut is a heartwarming and finely observed book that speaks to the enduring struggles all immigrants face, whether in 1902 or 2002.

    One thought on “How I Became an American”

    1. An intense, enlightening (at times also very much and sadly heartbreaking) fictional German language account of one Romanian German family's early 20th century immigration to the United States (but as author Karin Gündisch has stated, based on real documents, based on the bona fide historical experiences of actual late 19th and early 20th century Romanian German migrants to the USA), Das Paradies liegt in Amerika (which roughly translates as something like America is paradise) is both readable [...]

    2. This book was especially interesting to me, a German immigrant who lives in Youngstown and who also has a friend who immigrated from Siebenbürgen. The story gives young readers a good insight into some of the hardships immigrants to America endured to find a better life. I highly recommend this book to children in upper elementary grades.

    3. I chose to review this book in addition to another historical fiction adolescent/young reader chapter book about Ellis Island/Immigration because, while similar, it's interesting to see the perspectives from two different children. The protagonists are from different countries, they are slightly different ages (this story is told from an 11 year old boy's perspective), and they are different genders (the other book I’m referencing is Sofia’s Immigrant Diary: Hope in my Heart, and she’s a 9 [...]

    4. Johnny's diary presents the story of how his family came from Siebenburgen in Austria-Hungary to Youngstown, Ohio. The story flips back and forth between life in America and the trip over. First his father emmigrates, shortly thereafter earning enough for Johnny's older brother Peter to come over. Together they get enough to bring over the four remaining family members. The story is really well-researched and stikes a chord in anyone whose family members were a part of the pack that came from th [...]

    5. I received the book for free through First Reads. This was an excellent story of coming to America and learning the ways and all. Although this was wrtten for the younger crowd, it was a good read for adults also. Each individual story is special in it's own way, and to have this record is great. I hope that many read this and enjoy it as much as I did.

    6. While there are many books about coming to America and the making of an American, this book had some unusual twists, insights and perceptions worth reading. The writing style was light, though heavy subjects were discussed. A fine read for a study on immigration.

    7. I wanted to really like this book, but it was slow the entire read. It gives you a good idea of what it was like to immigrate to America in the early 1900's and get a child's (11 years old) perspective on that. This family immigrated to Youngstown, Ohio.

    8. Chose to read this book, because it was on the summer reading list for my students. It was a quick read and gives the students a good idea of what it was like to immigrate to America in the early 1900's.

    9. Gut aber denke ich das es ist nicht eine gute schulbuch. Es war ein bischen langweilig, und schwer fur mich weil Deutsch ist nicht meine erste Sprach. (It's good, but I don't think it's a good book for school. It's a little boring and it's not an easy read for a non-native speaker)

    10. This was an okay book. Kinda slow, but a very good story told about immigrant families coming to America.

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