I dedicate this book to Karl Mahumed who immigrated to America so his grandsonâ€™s daughter could become the first wife of Senator Ted Kennedyâ€™s son and make me a relative of the Kennedys in a way. I also dedicate it to Ms. Graves, for helping me a lot.
The sun wakes up as the sky shines light on the dark green plains of Sweden. I should start my furniture building before mid-spring, because when the growing season hits, a 21 year-old won’t have time due to all of the work required. Although, at least it rewards us with tasty fresh fruits and vegetables. A nice prize for the all the hard work the farmers of Falkoping do. I should probably try my best to prepare us for winter or I will get a ton of “Karl Mahumed! Where are the crops for the stockpile?” Also, I’m worried due to the fact that there are dead plants around the area. The fields look dry and thirsty to me. Could it be “The Drought Of 1893?”
I was correct all these days. A drought! All the grass has been toasted by the sun. The ground feels blazing hot. The dirt is rock-hard and dashing through the air. There is no water for our crops or trees. What a mess!! I hope that my wife, Svea, will agree to move to a place where this isn’t happening. I know a man called John Erlander who lives in Illinois in America who has started a furniture-making business. Maybe I could just make furniture and there may be a chance we could escape the drought and live an even better life. Despite being worried about the odds, I’d still like to go. I beg that the next year, 1894, Svea and I would get fresher air, greener grass and more beautiful scenery and finally start a family. Although I can’t guarantee this will all happen, I think there’s a better chance of it if we join Mr. Erlander in Illinois.
The day finally comes in late 1894. We pack all of our belongings in a luggage bag that barely fits everything in. We stroll down the streets of Falkoping looking at our house, and every single building that we will never see again. We are sad to leave our home. An hour later, we get on a boat. It is very crowded and the line is long. There are very few rooms to choose from because so many others like us are escaping the drought. Finally, Svea gets some space in a room that’s nice-looking and has fine wood. Maybe I should get some rest while I’m at it. I wake up the next morning. Svea is eating a piece of delicious bread and she looks as if she’s the luckiest person on earth. I have some too and agree with her. All of a sudden, the sound of a large wave is growing and then we hear the crash of water hitting the boat. Then we hear screaming. I go outside and see that the deck is wet, along with people, but nobody is hurt. For the rest of the five days at sea, we experience the same thing over and over. Svea and I are nervous and, at times, seasick, but the waves calm down and we do too. On the last day, we spot America in the distance from the front of the boat. I am hoping for the best, and at least from what I see, the fields and plants are hydrated, and I can guarantee that no drought is over there!
I step off the boat at Ellis Island. I am right. Fresh air! Fertile land! This is so great! I was correct in my prediction. It turns out to be the best place I have ever been to! Look at the nice homes and the busy city. The hills are dark green and very alive. People seem busy at work and there look to be many jobs in America that may fit me. I have my papers ready to show the immigration officials. They ask me questions about my personality. I tell them I am hardworking and work multiple jobs depending on what time of year it is. They said I pass. Well, time to head to Illinois with Svea. We find a train station and board the train for Rockford.
Six years later I find that even if there wasnâ€™t a drought in Sweden and I had no reason to move, I would still be very satisfied with America. I own a mansion on a natural landscape. I have three children. Their names are Agnihild, Herbert, and Mabel. Sadly, we had a baby who died. Many years later, my oldest child, Agnihild, married a man named Issac Gershman. They had a son, James Gershman who had a daughter, Katherine and she married Edward Kennedy Jr., the son of Senator Ted Kennedy. I felt nervous about coming to America, but it turned out to be the greatest idea ever!
About the Author
Joshua Charet is a 10 year-old boy who lives in Watertown, MA. He is an only child. His favorite food is pizza that comes from Pizza Hut. He has a self-proclaimed computer addiction which means he knows a lot about computers. And yes, he is actually related to the Kennedys, in a distant way, by marriage. Â