How I Became an American

( 1 )

Overview

In 1902, ten-year-old Johann and his family, Germans who had been living in Austria-Hungary, board a ship to immigrate to Youngstown, Ohio, where they make a new life as Americans.

In 1902, ten-year-old Johann and his family, Germans who had been living in Austria-Hungary, board a ship to immigrate to Youngstown, Ohio, where they make a new life as Americans.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $58.88   
  • Used (13) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 3 of 4
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$58.88
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(277)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Hardcover New Book. Ship within one business day with tracking number.

Ships from: Newark, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$87.79
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(190)

Condition: New
0812648757 New. Looks like an interesting title!

Ships from: Naperville, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$145.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(136)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 3 of 4
Close
Sort by
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

In 1902, ten-year-old Johann and his family, Germans who had been living in Austria-Hungary, board a ship to immigrate to Youngstown, Ohio, where they make a new life as Americans.

In 1902, ten-year-old Johann and his family, Germans who had been living in Austria-Hungary, board a ship to immigrate to Youngstown, Ohio, where they make a new life as Americans.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this rather rambling and awkward chronicle, based on letters written by immigrants between 1902 and 1986 (according to an afterword), a fictional boy describes his family's experiences emigrating from Austria-Hungary to the United States. In 1902, 10-year-old John, his mother and three siblings leave their town of Siebenburgen to join his father and older brother, who have already emigrated to Youngstown, Ohio. Unfortunately, the narrative is often stilted and the dialogue forced, as when John's father announces his decision to leave his homeland ("I want to immigrate and try my luck in Youngstown, where they need workers. The weaving business is going downhill here, and I don't think it's going to get better. I don't want to wait until we have nothing to gnaw on. I see only one possible way out: immigration"). The boy recounts the family's arduous voyage to America, the sometimes trying adjustment to a new life and language, and the resolute efforts of both parents and children to support themselves financially. Throughout, John underscores the many differences between the two lifestyles and cultures, noting at one point that his mother, who insists on making rather than buying soap, "is just accustomed to the old home ways, and won't give them up." Though it introduces a likable young narrator and offers a clear view of the daily lives of German-speaking immigrants in early 20th-century Ohio, this account will likely prove slow-going for most middle graders. Ages 9-12. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This engaging novel follows ten-year-old Johann and his German family's immigration from Austria-Hungrary to the United States at the turn of the 20th century. When Johann's father moves to America to make a better life, Johann wonders whether his father will forget him and his family, like many other fathers from his community seem to do. Delightfully, Johann's father does send for his family, but their excitement soon fades as the realities of their harsh voyage sink in, including the tragic death of a loved one. The difficulties the family experiences on their trip do not cease once they arrive in America, where they quickly realize all the roads are not paved with gold. However, Johann and his siblings adapt much faster to the "American" ways than do their parents. Nonetheless, through hard work and perseverance, the family begins to find some success. While the writing is somewhat awkward, the story peaks our interest throughout, as it represents the struggles millions of immigrants encountered in the pursuance of their American dreams. 2001, Cricket Books, $15.95. Ages 8 up. Reviewer: Rebecca Joseph
VOYA
Basing her 2002 Batchelder Award-winning novel on letters of the more than five million Eastern and Southeastern European immigrants to the United States around 1900, Gündisch describes a typical immigrant experience through the eyes of ten-year-old Johann "Johnny" Bonfert. The Bonfert family shared a two-room cottage in Austria-Hungary. Food was adequate but money scarce. When Johann's father and older brother travel to America to work in the steel mills of Youngstown, Ohio, they eventually save enough money to bring the rest of the family over, including a new baby. During the ocean crossing, Johann and his family endure cold, hunger, and seasickness. After clearing Ellis Island, they take a train to Youngstown. The baby soon dies as a result of unsanitary conditions in the ship's steerage. Despite their sorrow, the family members pull together and work hard—Johnny sells newspapers, his little brother delivers bakery rolls before school, and his older sister works as a maid—and at last they buy a boardinghouse for newly arrived immigrants. There is no high drama here—just the day-to-day activities of adjusting to a new country, language, and culture. Johnny understands his mother's homesickness and her attempt to replicate her old culture by starting a poultry business. He and his siblings adapt more quickly. While his parents anxiously await news from home, Johnny contemplates the working conditions at the mill and worries about his classmates who have dropped out of school to work there. Although the story is set one hundred years ago, new immigrants will spot similarities between the Bonferts' adjustment and their own experience. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M J (Readable without seriousdefects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Cricket Books, 128p,
— Florence Munat
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-An immigration story of the early 20th century, this lively and interesting account is told through the eyes of "Johnny" (Johann on his birth certificate). His father is the first of this German-speaking family to emigrate from Siebenburgen (Austria-Hungary) to a job in the steel foundries of Youngstown, OH. Eldest son Peter follows him, and, in 1902, 10-year-old Johnny and the rest of the family arrive. They experience difficulties, such as the death of little sister Eliss, but manage to prosper, with Johnny selling newspapers, little Emil working in a bakery, and older sister Regina a housemaid. Peter heads for the farmlands of California, and Mama has her chicken farm and egg business but is persuaded she could earn more by turning the barn into a boarding house. This upbeat, often humorous, realistic narrative incorporates songs used to encourage or discourage potential emigrants and even neatly ties in the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. It could be the tale of many an immigrant family coming from central Europe and adjusting to life and customs in a new country.-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
During the early days of the 20th century, Mama asks Johann to write the story of their journey from Germany to America because she wants all the children to remember everything they lived through. Describing the entire process in vivid detail, Johann tells of his family's life in their village in Austria-Hungary, and their decision to emigrate. Papa leaves first and they wait anxiously for him to send money so they can join him. Others have gone with such promises, never to be heard from again. When they finally take their leave, they must travel many miles by train before reaching the ship. Then comes the long journey in steerage with all its hardships and tragedies. Adjusting to life in Youngstown, Ohio, is not easy for any of them. It is an ever-changing, confusing kaleidoscope of economic opportunities and disappointments, dwelling places, and decisions. As was common in immigrant families, the children find themselves more accepting of this new American culture, while the parents are slower to adapt. Johann's description of his sister Regina's first attempt at dressing American-style to attend a dance and still adhere at least a little to her parents' traditions is both poignant and amusing. Gündisch's technique of telling the story from the point of view of a growing child is successful here. Johann's perceptions change and grow as he matures. It also helps to overcome Skofield's somewhat stiff translation, if the reader accepts that it is written by a child unsure of his English. Gündisch's research and use of primary sources serves her well; the result is believable, interesting, and entertaining. (Fiction. 9-12)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812648751
  • Publisher: Cricket Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 870L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2002

    Good, but not great

    I was required to read this book for a English class. I found the book very difficult to follow at times, due to the writing style. It also took a very long time for any rising action, and there was no big climax to the story. Overall, I was bored with the story and had to labor over it in order to read the whole book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)