From the Publisher
Thirteen-year-old Peggy O’Driscoll, left orphaned and homeless by the Great Famine of the 1840s, leaves Ireland to seek her fortune in America. ‘Readers will feel the enormity of Peggy’s decision and the pain of leaving loved ones behind . . . High-quality historical fiction’.–School Library Journal.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8– Historic validity and a dramatic writing style work together here to create an engrossing and realistic tale. This sequel to Under the Hawthorn Tree (Holiday, 1990) focuses on 13-year-old Peggy O’Driscoll as she makes her way to America from Ireland after the Great Famine that left her an orphan. Just as the earlier book depicts the hardships of the time, this one offers an honest picture of the problems of immigration. And while it gives readers solid historical background, it also serves up a well-written story with characters who, although somewhat stereotypical, are believable. Passage to America is being offered, and Peggy takes advantage of it. She arrives in Boston with no place to go, but soon finds her way to a home for young girls. She ultimately goes into service to a wealthy family, and it is here that her life in America begins to take shape. Readers will feel the enormity of her decision and the pain of leaving loved ones behind. All the complications of embarking on the journey become clear. The dismal conditions in steerage and the relentless seasickness can almost be felt through Colon-McKenna’s sharp prose. High-quality historical fiction.– Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ