Streets of Gold by Rosemary Wells

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Synopsis

Masha, a young Russian girl, is terribly afraid of the czar, whose piercing eyes glare at her from the portrait Masha's parents must keep on the wall. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the czar's harsh anti-Semitic laws forbid Masha, who is Jewish, from going to school-something the bright, inquisitive girl desperately wishes to do. When her family immigrates to America, Masha not only achieves the long-desired education, but also gains success as a poet, and a love for her new country that will last all her life.

In a picture book inspired by Mary Antin's classic immigrant memoir The Promised Land, Rosemary Wells brings renewed vigor and freshness to a story of the fundamental American experience. Dan Andreasen's warm, sympathetic illustrations glow with the hope and love that Mary finds in her new land.
 

About Rosemary Wells

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Rosemary Wells, author and illustrator of several dozen books for children and young adults, was born in 1943 in New York City. She studied at the Museum School at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Wells began her career in publishing, working as an art editor and designer first at Allyn and Bacon and later at Macmillan Publishing. Her first work, which she both wrote and illustrated, was Martha's Birthday, published in 1970. Her first work for young adults was The Fog Comes on Little Pig Feet, published in 1972. Wells is perhaps most famous for the Max series, beginning with Max's First Word, published by Dial in 1979. Although the primary audience for the series is very young children, the books appeal to the senses of humor of even small children. Wells says that the inspiration for these stories is her own children. Wells is the recipient of numerous awards including a Children's Book Council Award for Noisy Nora in 1974, the Edgar Allan Pie award for two young adult books, Through the Looking Glass and When No One Was Looking, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Shy Charles. Rosemary Wells is married to Thomas Moore Wells, an architect. The couple has two daughters. Dan Andreasen is the illustrator of numerous picture books, including "By the Dawn's Early Light: The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner" by Steven Kroll, which was named an ABA Kids' Pick of the Lists and a Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies; "A Quiet Place" by Douglas Wood; and "Sailor Boy Jig" by Margaret Wise Brown. He has also authored several picture books, including "With a Little Help from Daddy" and "A Special Day for Mommy". Dan lives with his family in Orlando, Florida. Jules Chametzky is Professor of English, Emeritus, at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is an editor and founder of The Massachusetts Review and author of "From the Ghetto: the Fiction of Abraham Cahan and Our Decentralized Literature." He recently edited "The Rise of David Levinsky" and was co-editor of "Jewish American Literature: a Norton Anthology." He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. Mary Antin was born in June of 1881 in Polotzk, White Russia (what is now Belarus). She emigrated from Polotzk to Boston with her family in 1894, when she was thirteen. Her first book, describing her voyage from Russia to the United States, was published in 1899. "The Promised Land" was a bestseller when it was first published in 1912.
 
Published May 1, 1999 by Dial. 40 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Streets of Gold

Publishers Weekly

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Among a profusion of books about turn-of-the-century Russian-Jewish emigrants, Wells's (Mary on Horseback) and Andreasen's (Eagle Song) story about Mary Antin (1881-1949) stands out for its exceptiona

May 03 1999 | Read Full Review of Streets of Gold

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