How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story
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How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  232 ratings  ·  44 reviews
After the police come, a family is forced to flee their Caribbean island and set sail for America in a small fishing boat.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 19th 1988 by Clarion Books (first published January 1st 1988)
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How Many Days to America? is a book based on the hardships and triumphs of immigrants coming to America. Eve Bunting created a realistic, sometimes depressing story about the journey that many people must make in order to escape oppression and gain their freedom. It depicts the immigrants sailing on a boat, packed tightly like sardines and battling gunfire, thieves and a broken engine. While the mood of the story seems hopeless and sad, the story concludes with the immigrants arriving in America...more
Jul 01, 2008 Janelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: refugees, Americans
Shelves: children-s-books
While this book follows a Caribbean family fleeing to America, I think it's a timeless refugee story and can be applied to those currently coming from Sudan and Burma - the conditions they left, the risks they took to flee, what they left behind, how they're starting over with nothing. In truth this family is lucky to have made it over together. It makes one feel blessed to be an American, even in hard times. It reminds us that there are a lot of people who long to come here and enjoy our freedo...more
Caelyn Pietila
How Many Days until America, written by Eve Bunting is a story about a group of people who are migrating on a ship to America. Even though this story is a great book about diversity and how people around the world are coming to America for a better life, it does not give the exact cultures or countries that these people are coming from. The theme of this story is teamwork and positivity, because even though these people are refugees and were kicked out of their own countries, the people on the s...more
Melody Wolen
Reading Level: 2nd grade
This is a book about a family of refugees who are escaping from their home on the Caribbean islands. They are desperately fleeing their home after solders come and ransack they house, so it's not a very happy story. The language in this book is very formal which doesn't allow you to connect with the character every well. Despite this, you could use this book to introduce different cultures to your classroom. You could perhaps start the story by discussing how different c...more
Jessica Moden
Reading Level: Kindergarten
This book is about a family that is being forced to leave their home in the Caribbean Islands and find freedom in the United States, being narrated by the little boy. The language used is very formal and descriptive, with not a lot of expression/dialogue. There is a definite demonstration of dominance in men over woman (patriarchy), for the women in this story were not the decision makers. Once the family gets to America there is a definite shift in the family’s mood;...more
Julie Fischer
In my class this book was more relevant that it was when I was growing up. Many of my children were coming into our counry to escape the violence and hatred of their race or religion in the country of their birth. So many of my students lived with other family until they were able to get a place of their own. These children left their beloveded grandparents, friends, and way of life. How didfficult and how big a sacrafice they have made with their families. I have so much admiration for these ch...more
Nov 19, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This was a dramatic tale about people who fled their country and escaped to America. The tale is very dramatic and the characters seem on the brink of losing everything, including their lives.

We recently read the book Inside Out & Back Again for a local book club and one of the parents shared her story of being a refugee from South Vietnam, spending days in a boat before eventually coming to America. So while the people in this story were from the Caribbean, we were familiar with such a plig...more
A family is forced to flee their homeland and join with others in struggling to get to America arriving on Thanksgiving. There's problems with the story which lacks context leaving the reader, (remember that this is a picture book and written for children), to fill in the gaps and make lots of assumptions. This has little to do with Thanksgiving per se other than the story ends on Thanksgiving day.
Christine Medunycia
This story is very touching. It is amazing that so much feeling can be gathered up into such a short story. The illustrations are very colorful and soft. The hope the family has is wonderful, and when they have more fear than hope it is very worrisome. This story can teach so much. I really like that their home is not really stated within the story - it can be any home.
Kaylin Marton
This book was an accurate portrayal of an immigrants struggle to leave their own country and come to the United States. The illustrations were full of color and the borders were white all the way around. I thought it was very interesting the way the faces had little detail to show differences between the immigrants.
I am becoming a fan of Eve Bunting's work. This story was touching. It gave me some perspective on what it's like for a family to leave virtually everything that they have and set out for a new country to live in. I liked that it was told from a child's perspective.

As far as the illustrations go, I thought they were drawn nicely. They didn't look very realistic, but they were drawn as a double page spread, which allowed the reader to look closely at everything. The images were bordered with a th...more
Rachel Dalton
While a simple and easy-to-read book, it allows the reader to visualize and infer character emotions. The pictures, which are well put-together, are an important part of the story
I really like this Thanksgiving story. Eve Bunting does a very good job of making the reader feel as if he or she is really right there with a group of immigrants who no longer have a safe home in their own country, and who set off for America with little but their hopes for an improved life. The storytelling of Eve Bunting combines well with the distinguished illustrations of Beth Peck to form a surprisingly evocative experience, especially considering the brevity of the story. How Many Days t...more
Angela Silvas
This story is about a family who is forced to leave their village and travel by a small fishing boat. They buy their way to America with some jewelry. A dangerous trip becomes more dangerous when theives come aboard and demand money and jewels. Will they get to America safely? This question is what I ask the students as a model for asking questions during this read aloud. On sticky notes the students write questions they have about the story after I have modeled a few times at the beginning of t...more
Brooke Devarennes
Subgroup: Immigration

Genre: Fiction- Historical/Realistic Fiction

Topics: crossing the sea, hardship, immigration

Synopsis: A family is forced to leave their Caribbean island home and travel by boat to America. It shows the immigrants sailing on an overcrowded boat while they face gunfire, thieves, and a broken engine. In the end the immigrants arrive in America and are welcomed by a town with open arms. They just happen to land in America on Thanksgiving Day.

3) Bunting, E. (1988). How Many Days t...more
4W got this book talk first.
Season Neal
A wonderful story that tells about a family trying to what I assume to be Cuba. The young children in the story are scared, confused, and keep asking how many days to America. This is a great tool for inferring character feelings/emotions because of the wonderful illustrations. This book is also a great tool for teaching about another culture, and Thanksgiving because when the family arrives in America it turns out to be Thanksgiving.
Dec 04, 2007 Shanna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Grades 2-6
How Many Days to America is about a family that leaves their home country on a journey to freedom to America, and loses what little they have on the way. This book makes a great Thanksgiving story because it makes you realize how many things you have to be thankful for. Great for character ed as well as helping students realize the risks some people have been willing to take to gain freedom.
This book did a great job of capturing the emotions of the people coming to America in an unpredictable way. The fact that it includes Thanksgiving an the end provides an interesting way to discuss different perspectives of the holiday. I would use this text along with others which include mentions of Thanksgiving to talk about point of view.
Kelli Bratten
Can be used for point of view - different meanings behind thanksgiving, new culture, reading comprehension - asking/answering questions. Students could write their own version of the second half of the book after teacher reads only first half (working on prediction as well as comprehension).
I really don't understand how Bunting came to be such a genius. She has her own box in my class library. I feel like we're having a real bookclub whenever I read one of her books...such discussion! This book is no exception. Great book for teaching kids how to question and synthesize.
A story that depicts the life of refugees from a Carribbean Island and their journey to America. Personally I though elements of the story was too abtract and needed to be more specific and sincere. Nice finish with giving thanks and a reason they had to celebrate.
Lindsey Lubker
I love this book! It is a story of a family from the Caribbean who were forced by the police to leave there home and set sail on a boat. It was a long rough ride to America but was rewarding when they made it safely and were happily welcomed.
I love this book and the true story it tells for many people in the world today. This book can help children understand that not everything in life is easy and some have it tougher then they may ever understand. Great book for inference.
The story of a family imigrating from a Caribbean island to america, it does not indicated which island, and does not say what was the reasons for imigration, but shows the child's point of view about forced imigration
A touching tale of Caribbean immigrants who escape to America just in time for Thanksgiving. It outlines the discomfort and perils people are willing to endure to come to America in search of freedom.
Such a humbling story yet I'm not sure how well children will relate to this story. From an adult's perspective I am even more grateful for everything I have after reading this story.
Diana Pettis
Great story to do as a read-aloud or guided readng group. Although the level is S. Eve Bunting is a great author who details the message of Thanksgiving in this book. I enjoyed it.
Mrs. Downs
GR Level: S

Elementary: E BUN

This is a great story to teach about migration. Refugees sacrifice a great deal to come to America for their freedom.
Ashley Allen
I would use this book when talking about people coming to America to find a better life. I would talk about the voyage across the sea and the welcoming of people to America.
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Also known as Evelyn Bolton and A.E. Bunting.

Anne Evelyn Bunting, better known as Eve Bunting, is an author with more than 250 books. Her books are diverse in age groups, from picture books to chapter books, and topic, ranging from Thanksgiving to riots in Los Angeles. Eve Bunting has won several awards for her works.

Bunting went to school in Ireland and grew up with storytelling. In Ireland, “The...more
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