I dedicate this book to my Grammy because she dedicated a book to me.
Under the evening sky, the riverâ€™s current flowed the way the breeze was going. The water hit the hard rocks and made a big splash. Cool spring wind blew my hair from side to side. My name is Simon Feinburg and I was eight years old in 1878. I grew up here in Lithuania, Russia. I lived in a small wood cabin next to a lake where we sailed. I lived with my mom, dad, sister, and brother. I am the youngest of all my family. My sister is thirteen and my brother is ten. I will always remember the cobblestone path that led from the front step of my house to the dusty dirt road. I would always go down that bumpy path to get to the corner store, where I would get smooth, soft, crunchy peppermints that tasted unreal. I loved my home here and, I never thought I would have to leave.
We were Russian Jews and the soldiers were coming to Lithuania. More and more people were leaving our country. One day, my father gathered the family in the living room. He sadly told us that it was too dangerous here in Lithuania and we must leave Russia right away. It was a big journey, but we had to take the risk in order to survive. Safe under the starry night sky, we left what we used to call home. I never thought I would be leaving my country. We tearfully said goodbye to our friends and family, and paddled off into the speckled sky to board the ship. We were heartbroken.
Gliding through the waves, tilting from side to side, and steam parading up into the dark night sky, our ship had set sail. I peeked out of the porthole wanting to see land, but still miles and miles of ocean. Sitting down on the hard floor, I stared at my bowl of halfeaten, repulsive looking mashed potatoes. Instead of eating, I took out my knapsack and rummaged through it a bit. I took out a notebook and a feather quill pen, ready to draw the new land.
Under a lavender sky, in clouds of steam, I saw her. A torch, a book, a face, the shining green beauty I was waiting for. We were here, America! We piled off the boat and got into lines. We all had done our hair and put our best clothes on - our holiday outfits with colorful liners. I got to the front of the line and let go of my motherâ€™s hand. I followed the soldier who was leading me and went in a small, quiet room with a bench and a desk. They checked my heartbeat and took my temperature. Then the soldier led me out of the room, as my heart beat as fast as light. They said, â€œYou...PASSED!!!
We went out the tall glass doors and came up to a phone booth. We put a quarter in the dusty slot. We typed in the taxi number, which was listed on a cobwebby sheet of paper with phone numbers. My mother picked up the phone and said to the driver as she looked up at the street sign, ‘’Please come to 34 Parker Street.’’ She learned a bit of English so she could guide us. The taxi came. We opened the rusty old door and piled in. The driver’s voice from the front said, ’’Where would you like to go today?’’ My mother said, ”89 Acorn Hill.’’ This was the apartment we were staying in before we went to our real house. We just had to rest from the journey. The taxi dropped us off at a marble building where we slept that night. The next morning we awoke and hopped in a taxi at 9:00 exactly. This time my mother said, ‘’23 Strawberry Hill in Rivertown, Pennsylvania.” The driver said, ’’Kids, this will be a long ride.’’ We drove and drove. It felt like we were in the car for years. Finally we got to a big house. It was light orange and had a small, rough oak tree next to it. It had five bedrooms, one for me, one for my sister, and one for my brother. There was a guest room, and my mom and dad had their own room. Weeks later, I had unpacked and gotten used to our new house. We hung a swing on the oak tree and we planted tulips in our backyard. I loved our new home and I never wanted to leave.
About the Author
Jenna Petrie is a 9-year-old student in Mrs. Mattsonâ€™s 4th grade class at Hosmer School. She has a dog and a cat, and she loves writing. She lives with her Mom, Dad, twin Brother, and Sister. Her favorite animal is a porcupine, and her favorite holiday is Christmas. She also loves sports. Her favorite color is purple. She has written two stories: Eva and the Evil Mermaids, done in second grade, and The Hidden Key that she is still working on. She wants to be an author or artist when she is older. :)<3 Â