So Far from Home: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 (Dear America Series)

Overview

In the diary account of her journey from Ireland in 1847 and of her work in a mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, fourteen-year-old Mary reveals a great longing for her family.

In the diary account of her journey from Ireland in 1847 and of her work in a mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, fourteen-year-old Mary reveals a great longing for her family.

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1997 Hardcover Scholastic School Market New Hardcover.

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Overview

In the diary account of her journey from Ireland in 1847 and of her work in a mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, fourteen-year-old Mary reveals a great longing for her family.

In the diary account of her journey from Ireland in 1847 and of her work in a mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, fourteen-year-old Mary reveals a great longing for her family.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Set in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847, this story is another in the "Dear America" historical fiction series. Young Mary leaves her parents and home in Ireland where the potato blight has created hardship and famine. She is a lucky one, because her aunt is already in American and has sent money for her passage. After an arduous journey Mary joins Aunt Nora in America and begins work in the mills. Conditions there are also terrible. It is not a happy story, but one that reflects the prejudice and hardships faced by the Irish immigrants and all who labored in the mills.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
A remarkable way for youngsters to connect with history, this book is from the new "Dear America" series that touches all details of life in the last few centuries in America. This story of an appealing young Irish immigrant presents an intimate examination of child labor. Written in an easy-to-follow journal format, it comes with a red ribbon bookmark, sewn to the binding.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8The story of 14-year-old Mary Driscoll's escape from the famine in her native County Cork, Ireland, and her new life working in a textile mill in Lowell, MA, is presented in brief diary entries dated from April to November 1847. The purpose of using a diary format seems to be to allow enough white space on the page to keep readers from being daunted by the flat language and plodding plot. The author uses expressions and Irish-like syntax to give the effect of an Irish's girl's language. Unfortunately, the effort does not convey the rhythm of Irish speech. Despite the book's shortcomings, it is chock-full o' historical facts and background. Denenberg works in the natural and political causes of the Irish potato famine, the dangers and discomforts of overseas passage, and class differences in 1840s America, among other themes. An appendix includes more historical information, such as a popular song of the day and pictures of the architecture and fashions.Rebecca O'Connell, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590926676
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1997
  • Series: Dear America Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.59 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Denenberg is a critically acclaimed author of nonfiction and historical fiction. His historical fiction books include titles in the Dear America, My Name Is America, and Royal Diaries series, many of which have been named NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. His nonfiction books have covered a wide array of topics, from Anne Frank to Elvis Presley.

Barry Denenberg lives in Bedford, New York, with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 6, 2012

    A Middle School Student's Perspective

    A Book Review of So Far From Home
    by Saung, Grade 7, Yangon International School

    Imagine yourself being a teenage girl who transfers from Ireland to work in America without your parents, to earn money for the family and to stand yourself. How do you pass this life? Can you face these problems like Mary? But Mary did the best for her family although she was a teenage girl. Also she had to work in a spinning room that was noisy and dangerous. The Author Barry Denenberg is the author of several critically acclaimed books for middle-grade and young adult readers. He also wrote about many important areas of American history. In his novel So Far From Home, he represents the troubles and struggles of transferred workers from Ireland to America. This book helps one consider whether he or she could give up a known life for the hardship of unknown.

    When Ma and Mary visited Aunt Nora in America, Mary learned about amazing opportunities in America. She took a risk to America for a better job. And then, she worked as a mill girl. Her sister, Kate, who did not care about Mary, worked as a maid in America. Mary lived lonely and felt depression, because she worked tiredly and there was no friend to talk with her. After some experiences, Mary could not see America as the land of opportunity concluded by Aunt Nora.

    I thought the title So Far From Home can capture the essence of the book. I also thought the author wanted the readers to know the struggles of transferred workers from Ireland to America. He also described about how they lived poorly in other countries away from the family and how they solved their problems in the works. In this book, the descriptions of the authors were simple and interesting. I like the kindness of Mary upon her family. I liked the character of Mary because she worked hard to earn money difficultly for her family without complaining even though she was a teenager and a girl.

    Therefore, every young adult should read this book to emulate the good characters of Mary and to understand the struggles of the world and the troubles of poor family. “On a scale of 1 (low) to five (high), I give this book a scale of three because this book was interesting and sad but in some plots it is kind of boring and not exciting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2005

    This Book is awesome!!!!!

    This book is really good.It is about this girl whos name is mary and lives in Ireland but has to go to america to work in the mills to get more money.This book teaches you about how life was like in the mills during the 1800s.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2004

    I LOVED THIS BOOK SOO MUCH

    It was such a good book. It was historical, and very interesting. Mary Driscoll was very inspiring to me. I thought she took everything around her well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2004

    Excellent!!!!!

    This book was very good. I enjoyed it very much and I think you should read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2003

    I so loved it!

    This book was amazing to me! It's about this irish mill girl who is going to America. She use to live in Irland. I'm guessing that she was Catholic,scince most Catholic people live in Irland, and because what she says, but you can read this book and make your own opinion.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2003

    Outstanding Book!!!!!

    So far from home is an outstanding book to read. This book really hit home for me because I don't live with my mother, I live with my father and that makes me feel how Mary Driscoll felt when she had to leave her family and friend that she loved so much. I would recommend this book to anyone how would listen. It would really help people understand how life was back in 1847, when Mary Driscoll lived.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2003

    this is a great book to read.

    this is a great book to read. I got this book as a gift from my mom for a christmas present 2 years ago. I got this book because I live so far away from my moms house. I have read this book three times and I jst love it so much.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2003

    Creative History at it's best!!!!

    I bought this book for my 9 yo daughter. She has already been on a field trip with her school to see the Mills in Lowell, and Lowell is where we live and she will be growing up. She loved the tour of the mills but I'm sure she's going to enjoy this book just as much. After she reads it, we'll be going on the tour again. I've read the book and found it very captivating. Everyone should read this book! Thank you to the author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2003

    So Far From Home:Best Book Ever

    I loved this book, it was awsome.It only took me 2 hours to read but it was only because I 'm a reading freak .It was great because it told about all the hardships.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2002

    Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    When I got it I read it immediately. I read almost all of it and then put it aside for a few months. when I picked it up again I couldn't put it down. So Far From Home really keeps you going. It's in diary form so you can always find a good stoping point. There is a movie about it. It messes up some of the book. Don't be alarmed and read the book first.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2002

    GREAT BOOK!!!

    I loved this book So Farm From Home, because it was very realistic, and I love the way it was writtin like a real Diary, If anyone does read this book, it will be borein at first, but it is great after you read the first few enteries!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2001

    It was ok

    It was good book, but it wasn't as good as some of the other Dear America books I've read so far. I was reading the book and it suddently ended...it wasn't long enough. It was good in the sense that it opened my eyes about the harshness of working in a mill. It was very realistic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2001

    AWWWEESSOOMMEEEE!!!!

    This story is very good. It is very interesting. You can even see the place this took place in at Lowell!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2000

    ONE OF THE BEST DEAR AMERICA BOOKS OUT THERE!!

    So Far From Home is a great book. My friend reccommended it to me because I'm Irish. Everybody should read it, it's great!! :-)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2000

    Great!!!!!

    I loved this book. It's about a 14 year-old girl who comes to America thinking that everything will be fine and easy but learns that,that isn't true. It felt like you were right there with her through her all her troubles. I loved it!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2000

    AMAZING!!!!!!!!

    I really loved this book!!! Although it was sad, it still touched my heart with it's sweetness. I definately recommend this to anybody who is a Dear America fan!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2000

    i loved this book

    this was a great book!OUTSTANDING!i love the dear america books and have all of them,but this one is my faviorite!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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