When a young child finds her great-great grandfather Wilhelm’s journal detailing his voyage across the Atlantic as an emigrant sailing from Bremerhaven, Germany to America in 1872, she is transported back in time.
The journal entries capture young Wilhelm’s hopes of escaping poverty, the adventure and poignancy of leaving behind all that is familiar, the wonders of life on the open sea, the work of the sailors, the daily struggles of sleeping in steerage, sea sickness, insect infestations, and boredom, but also the children's games and sense of community on board. And finally, the big day comes as the Columbia reaches the port of New York!
Sidebar facts throughout offer insights about navigational tools, seamen’s knots, sea creatures, and more in this historical picture book about the great age of emigration and life aboard a sailing ship.
About the Author
Anke Bär studied Cultural Studies and Aesthetic Practice in Hildesheim. Through a project at the German Emigration Center Bremerhaven she came into contact with the topic of historical emigration overseas. Today she lives as a freelance illustrator in Bremen.
This fictional account offers the immediacy and realism of a first-person narration enlivened by spontaneous-feeling, quick sketches of passengers and crew. — Kirkus Reviews
Wilhelm’s journal entries drive the narrative, supplemented by insets about specific details, beautiful pencil drawings, and painted illustrations. — Amina Chaudhri