Cover image for Annushka's voyage
Annushka's voyage
Tarbescu, Edith.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [1998]

Physical Description:
32 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
The Sabbath candlesticks given to them by their grandmother when they leave Russia help two sisters make it safely to join their father in New York.
Reading Level:
400 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.3 0.5 56685.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.4 2 Quiz: 31515 Guided reading level: N.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Set at the turn of the century, this sensitively told story, based on the true story of the author's own mother's journey to America, follows the journey of two young sisters as they travel from their small village in Russia to join their papa in New York. In her lively text, Edith Tarbescu communicates the hopes and fears of the two young immigrants. Expressive illustrations capture the many extraordinary moments of the sisters' transatlantic journey including their glorious reunion with Papa, made possible with the help of a pair of special Sabbath candlesticks.

Author Notes

Lydia Dabcovich is the author/illustrator of many books for children. She lives with her husband in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. Based on the experience of Tarbescu's mother, this picture book is a simple, fictionalized, first-person account of the Jewish immigrant journey from Russia to America. Papa sends steamship tickets from New York City for Anya and her little sister, Tanya. Mama is dead, and Anya must care for her sister on the long journey. When they leave the Russian village, Grandma gives them each a family candlestick; on board the crowded ship, the sisters wave the candlesticks to find each other; when they get to Papa's apartment in the immigrant neighborhood, they light the candles for the Sabbath. Dabcovich's detailed pen-and-ink illustrations with acrylic and colored pencil show the leaving, the long journey over in the hold, the arrival, the terrifying medical inspections on Ellis Island, and the warmth of their reunion with their dad. Add this to all the immigration stories that will get younger readers interested in their own family stories. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-The immigrant experience is brought to life in this bittersweet historical sketch. Narrated by elder sister Annushka, the story tells of two Russian girls who leave their native home and their beloved grandparents to begin a new life in New York with their father. Their parting from their relatives is wrenching, yet their future is full of possibility. Readers witness the hardships so many immigrants endured in crowded conditions on board ships making the transatlantic crossing. Annushka and Tanya survive the difficult voyage only to be separated in the confusion of Ellis Island's notorious immigration processing center. The sisters find one another, and later their father, by holding up the candlesticks given to them by their grandmother on their departure. The pen-and-ink, acrylic, and colored-pencil illustrations depict both the pathos and the joy of this familiar saga. The varied page layouts and use of perspective are effective in portraying the wonder and challenges of the girls' odyssey. An afterword includes an antique photograph of the real sisters, the author's mother and aunt, along with a historical note regarding the persecution of Jews in Russia during the late 1800s. A moving tribute to the strength of family ties and the American experience.- Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.