When I Dream of Heaven: Angelina's Story

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Bring history to life with compelling stories,

sweeping scope, and a welcoming sense of diversity

  • Historical fiction helps students connect to their middle school

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Overview

Bring history to life with compelling stories,

sweeping scope, and a welcoming sense of diversity

  • Historical fiction helps students connect to their middle school

    social studies classes

  • Reading skill instruction and cross-curricular connections improve

    comprehension of historical fiction

  • Strong multicultural flavor reflects the rich tapestry of our shared

    American heritages

Jamestown's American Portraits, a saga of American families and friends,

traces the history of America from the founding of Jamestown to the Civil

Rights Movement. This is a unique, enriching series designed to teach

reading strategies appropriate for historical novels used in middle school

reading, language arts, or social studies classes.

  • Reading Level 5-8
  • Interest Level 6-8

In 1895 in New York City, Gina, a fourteen-year-old Italian immigrant, forced by her family to drop out of school and work long hours in a garment factory, tries to break free of the control her parents have over her finances and social life.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In this entry in the series "Jamestown's American Portraits," a 14-year-old immigrant's family from Italy settles in New York City where old-fashioned Italian traditions collide with more modern American ways. The biggest issue is education and what happens when Angelina's parents tell her that she must stop going to school and start working full-time in a sweat shop. Angelina feels independent because she is making a living, and yet her family controls her pay check as well as her life. She seeks out new and old friends to help her adjust to this new world, but obstacles keep happening that cause her to make tough decisions. Now growing up is even harder then she thought it would be. Angelina comes to us as a young and naïve girl with her whole life ahead of her, yet the reader does not feel an emotional attachment to Angelina. We should feel outrage at the family when Angelina's sleep is disturbed at night by their renter. Why does no one in the family—including her two brothers that sleep in the same room with this man—know that Angelina is being bothered? The author tells the story without really showing us how it feels to be Angelina. In this book, the reader will learn about the life in New York City in the late 1880s, when times were tough for immigrants coming over to America—but they will not see the true picture, because character growth has been stunted to make the story into a quick read. 2004, Waterbird Books, Ages 8 to 12.
—Julia Beiker
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-In Heaven, the appalling conditions of the New York City sweatshops at the turn of the 20th century and the plight of young immigrant girls come to life as 14-year-old Gina Petrosino struggles with her sense of familial duty and her strong desires to further her education. Gina is an appealing protagonist, frustrated with the limited choices open to her and wanting independence while remaining part of the strict Italian family that she loves. Similarly, in Stars, 18-year-old Liz Erickson struggles for independence and career options in 1942, when women fought the war as well as societal attitudes. Expected to be polite and pretty, Liz prefers to fly airplanes. She is trying to cope with her pilot mother's mysterious death two years earlier, and has recently learned that someone has been sabotaging the Women's Airforce Service Pilots military program. Fascinating facts, exciting descriptions of flying, and a courageous main character contrast sharply with the stilted dialogue that imparts information but sounds nothing like realistic conversation. Despite the Nancy Drew-like prose, the story is compelling. Zeinert includes an excellent historical afterword, complete with photos of the main training facility.-Linda Bindner, formerly at Athens Clarke County Library, GA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780769634241
  • Publisher: School Specialty Children's Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Series: Jamestown Education American Portraits Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

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Table of Contents

It's September 1895 in New York City. Six years have passed since Tony Petrosino, a 14-year-old Italian immigrant, seized the opportunity to become a photographer. Now his sister Angelina is 14. She would like more education but, as with Tony and her two other brothers, Papá has insisted she work full-time.

Always her mother's helper, "Gina" starts sewing garments at Sidowski's sweatshop. The work is hard, but when her friend Rosie joins her in the shop and they become friends with Louisa and Judy, the lure of freedom becomes impossible to resist. Wearing stylish clothes and going out to dance halls is not only fun, but a way of separating from their parents' Old World ways.

How this conflict is resolved for Gina-and the part Clarissa Dale of the Jamestown Dales plays in it-makes for a story both poignant and dramatic.

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