When Jessie Came Across the Sea

Written by Amy Hest • Illustrated by P. J. Lynch

Reviewed by Samantha B. (age 8) and Lauren K. (age 7)

Have you ever lived in Europe and do most of the chores every day? Jessie and her grandmother lived in a poor village where the houses were cabins. Once in awhile, Jessie would pick up things from the garden. She milked the cow, Miss Minnie. Some people might think that this is a very nice life. Other people might think this is a very boring life. But it was just fine for Jessie.

Long ago, when Jessie was a baby her parents died so she lived with her grandmother. One day the rabbi received a ticket to America from his brother. The rabbi didn?t want to leave the village. He wanted to pick someone to take his place...HE PICKED JESSIE!!! When the rabbi picked Jessie, she had mixed feelings. She thought, ?America? So far away from grandmother! Don?t make me go!? Grandmother thought, ?Dear Jessie, alone on a ship to America!?

You will have to read this book if you want to find out if Jessie goes or not! We think this book has great quality writing, illustrations that match the text, and details. We recommend this book to second graders and any other grade. Parents will enjoy it also. This story reminds me, Lauren, of the true story when my great grandfather left Poland to come to America and he went to Ellis Island. It reminded me, Samantha, of when my great grandpa went to America and went to Ellis Island and later brought the rest of the family. It also reminds us of the book Peppe the Lamplighter because Peppe tries to help out with his family and so does Jessie.

There was movement through time. We?re pretty sure Jessie was thirteen at the beginning of the book and at the end she was sixteen.

Jessie?s feelings changed about going to America. They kept switching back and forth. First she didn?t want to go, then she did, then she didn?t, then she did. It goes on and on. We don?t want to give away the rest of the story, so you?ll just have to read it to find out what happens!

Samantha B. and Lauren K. are students in Mrs. Mayer's 2nd Grade Class
2000-2001