Cover image for Hannah's journal : the story of an immigrant girl
Hannah's journal : the story of an immigrant girl
Moss, Marissa.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Silver Whistle/Harcourt, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 cm.
In the Russian shtetl where she and her family live, Hannah is given a diary for her tenth birthday, and in it she records the dramatic story of her journey to America.
General Note:
Includes glossary.

"A Young American voices book"--Cover.

Includes a map of Hannah's journey on front endpapers.
Reading Level:
730 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.7 1.0 44818.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.2 4 Quiz: 22713 Guided reading level: NR.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Hannah's small European village buzzes with tales of life free from persecution in a place called America. Timid cousin Esther has passage for two aboard a ship bound for New York, and Hannah convinces Mama and Papashka to let her use the extra ticket.
The voyage is long, but Hannah and Esther find a new friend in Samuel, a young orphan aboard the ship, and together they endure the stormy seas and cramped steerage quarters. Finally, the soaring Statue of Liberty greets them at Ellis Island, but will America really be everything they've dreamed of?

Author Notes

Marissa Moss began as an illustrator of children's books. She is the author and illustrator of the Amelia series. She has written and illustrated more than 20 children's books including Amelia's Notebook, which was named a 1997 American Booksellers Association Pick of the Lists book. Her other books include Regina's Big Mistake and Knick Knack Paddywack.

My Notebook (with Help from Amelia) also won the 2000 Parent Council Outstanding Award Informational and Oh Boy, Amelia! won the 2001 Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award and the 2002 Children's Choice Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-5. Inspired by the lives of Ellis Island immigrants, including the author's great-grandmother and great-uncle, this fictional diary purports to be the work of Hannah, a 10-year-old Jewish girl from Lithuania. It is 1901, and when pogroms threaten family and community, Hannah's parents seize an unexpected opportunity to send her to America. The journal documents a worried yet plucky Hannah's trip by train to Hamburg, her long and often unpleasant voyage to New York aboard a crowded steamship, her detention on Ellis Island, and her first experiences living and working in New York City. Readers who enjoy Moss' Amanda's Notebook series will find the same entertaining combination of childlike text and illustrations here. Like the other volumes in Moss' American Voices series, this book provides a vivid introduction to the period and a chance to vicariously experience the times through a most appealing character. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Hannah, 10, is a Russian Jew who leaves home for America with her 14-year-old cousin Esther in 1901. From the start, the journey is fraught with complications. Since Esther was originally supposed to travel with 16-year-old Rivka, who died of influenza, the two girls must assume different identities to match the already obtained passports. After a perilous trip filled with intolerable sanitary conditions, storms, and other discomforts, Esther, Hannah, and their new friend Samuel arrive on Ellis Island only to spend an agonizing month waiting for officials to locate their sponsor. Finally, he is found and they begin their new life in New York. The journal entries have a hand-lettered appearance and are sprinkled with colorful drawings and asides. Children may be confused by the fact that Hannah makes it clear from the start that her ability to read and write both Hebrew and Russian is limited, and she doesn't yet speak or write English. The voice seems to ring true, but whose is it? Despite the fact that the lack of formal schooling that young girls like Hannah had available to them presents a quandary for this type of journal format, Moss does give her readers a real sense of the time in which the protagonist lived.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.