Cover image for The journey
The journey
Stewart, Sarah.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (some color) ; 31 cm
A young Amish girl tells her "silent friend, " her diary, about all the wonderous experiences she has on her first trip to the city.
Reading Level:
680 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.2 0.5 47521.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.8 2 Quiz: 24509 Guided reading level: L.
Added Author:
Format :


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

On Order



A new heroine to win readers' hearts, joining the ranks of Lydia Grace Finch and Elizabeth Brown
"Dear Diary"
"The luckiest girl on this good earth is writing to you tonight -- my birthday -- made perfect a few minutes ago by the present of a lace handkerchief. Mother had even hidden a tiny cake in her suitcase I've never been higher than Aunt Clara's porch, or farther than Yooder's General Store, but this week my dream is coming true. I'm finally in a big city And more, I've escaped the farm and chores After spending the morning quietly in our room, Mother, her friend Maggie, and I went to the top of one of the tallest buildings in the world. How can I ever thank Aunt Clara for giving me her place on this trip? Well, I'm sure to find a gift for her by the end of the week. But for now, perhaps I'll dream of Aunt Clara and home."
"Until tomorrow, "
"my silent friend, "
"good night."
Beginning in the dark hours of morning, an Amish girl, along with two adult companions, sets off for the big city for the first time. The reader receives nightly reports through young Hannah's diary, in which, with tireless awe, she relates the significant events of the day. Each experience is decidedly new to Hannah -- a trip to the top of a skyscraper, a visit to the aquarium -- yet in each she finds some universal element that reminds her of home. Though she loves the city, a trip to the art museum on the final day of her visit clinches Hannah's longing for family and familiarity; fortunately, the bus is ready to take her back to the place she loves most.
Sarah Stewart's text has the authentic ring of a smart girl's private thoughts, and David Small's pictures are magnificent.

Author Notes

Sarah Stewart  and David Small , a Caldecott medalist, have collaborated on five books to date, including The Library and The Gardener , a Caldecott Honor Book. They live in Mendon, Michigan.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4. This picture book for older children begins on the book jacket as an Amish girl, Hannah, begins her birthday journey to Chicago by bidding good-bye to Aunt Clara and boarding a buggy that takes her, her mother, and her mother's friend Maggie to the bus station. Hannah's diary entries highlight each day's activities in the city, which are compared to everyday experiences on the farm. On Sunday, Hannah admires Chicago from a skyscraper's observation tower; a turn of the page reveals the panorama she's accustomed to seeing from Aunt Clara's porch. As Hannah likens the colorful clothing of city dwellers to the patterns and colors in an Amish quilt, Small shows a bridge crowded with pedestrians, followed by a double spread picturing Amish women seated around a table stitching. The robust colors of the city are countered by the subdued tones of the familiar Amish life Hannah recalls at each day's end. Children will enjoy glimpsing Hannah's routines through her reveries and sharing the excitement of her trip to Chicago in this vivid, respectful, and artfully presented contrast in cultures. --Ellen Mandel

Publisher's Weekly Review

HAn Amish girl makes her first visit to a city (Chicago, in this case) in another graceful and understated work by the collaborators of the Caldecott Honor book, The Gardener. In daily entries, Hannah addresses her diary as "my silent friend," as she excitedly recounts the day's activities and compares them to life back home. Each reference inspires the illustration that appears on the succeeding wordless spread Da scene from her rural hometown. Like her heroine, Stewart wastes no words; a simplicity and economy inform the prose. Small effectively depicts the spare, serene Amish lifestyle and, using a more subdued palette and a simpler line than in his previous work, effectively underscores the sharp contrast between the two settings. In one particularly engaging juxtaposition, Hannah describes a visit to a store. "I was staring at some strange dresses when a saleswoman suddenly held one up to my shoulders," she writes, then wonders if, at home, her Aunt Clara has finished stitching Hannah's dress. The accompanying illustration shows a store clerk holding up a red and white polka-dot party dress in a glittering shop dominated by elegantly clad mannequins. A turn of the page reveals Hannah's recollection of standing barefoot in her aunt's stark sewing room, holding up a simple blue shift. Another strong visual segue concludes this exceptional title and brings home its themes: On her final day in the city, Hannah gazes at one of Monet's paintings of haystacks in a museum and admits in her journal "how much I've missed [Aunt Clara] and my pony and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa and my sisters and brothers." Strong likenesses of the haystacks appear on the following spread, as the bus carrying Hannah and her mother home passes by a dusk-shrouded field. (Observant youngsters may notice that in Small's aerial view of the family's home and barn, found on the endpapers, these two buildings bear a resemblance to those in the background of Monet's painting.) As affecting as the book's graphics, Hannah's candid journal entries, filled with a wide-eyed wonder of the city, spill over with a contagious enthusiasm ("I feel like happiness has rushed up and grabbed me from behind"). Her trip to the city only seems to deepen her appreciation for her family's way of life. Readers will feel as though they have made a fast friend in this likable young heroine. They will not easily forget her. All ages. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-Hannah, a young Amish girl, her mother, and an adult friend take a buggy and bus from their farm home to Chicago. Diary entries detail the child's reactions to the sights while luminous double-page watercolors depict the city's wonders from the "L" and the shops to the fountains and the aquarium. The text, surrounded by a thin black frame, is placed to the right of the city scenes and above black line drawings of the young writer. Each new experience triggers a related scene from home; these wordless spreads alternate with the urban scenes. Thus, while the lakefront view from Hannah's hotel is breathtaking, the panorama that follows of the view from Aunt Clara's porch has charms all of its own. The city scenes are rendered in a slightly brighter palette and appear in rectangular frames. The memories of home are more muted, presented in soft, rounded shapes. Deep blue scenes of the early morning departure and the sunset homecoming cover the endpapers. The latter scene includes haystacks, connecting Hannah and readers to her experience with Monet's haystacks at the Chicago Art Institute. This title offers so much: a glimpse into Amish culture and Chicago treasures; a winsome main character and many sensitively depicted supporting personalities; a fresh, authentic voice; and a design perfectly melded to its subtle message. Share this one with groups and individuals-and plan extra time to savor.-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.