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

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  479 Ratings  ·  113 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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Nov 18, 2016 Mariah rated it really liked it
This was a great book! I wish it would have told what country they were traveling from.
Julie Fischer
May 01, 2013 Julie Fischer rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 16, 2011 Erica rated it liked it
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
Ms. Arca
Nov 23, 2015 Ms. Arca rated it liked it
I like that this story is vague enough that SO many people could relate to this immigrant experience. I do not like, however, that this has frequently been and continues to be the experience of many people looking for safety, freedom... etc.

I am a fan of Eve Bunting and I appreciate that she writes about issues that are relevant and human.

Take a peek at this book if you want a reminder of one of the MANY things you could be grateful for this Thanksgiving season (and all year).

Gayle Swift
Nov 21, 2016 Gayle Swift rated it really liked it
follows a family as they escape oppression in their homeland who dream of America as a place to be free–free of soldiers threatening violence, free to disagree with their government and military, free to dream of a better life for their family.

On a moment’s notice they leave behind everything and set sail for America. Their only baggage are hope and their bodies. When the little boy questions why his family must leave, his father replies, “Because we do not think the way they think, my son. Hur
Jul 01, 2008 Janelle rated it really liked it
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
RLL22017 Flora Zayas
Bunting and Peck use ambiguity to allow readers to connect with the characters. "How Many Days to America? A Thanksgiving Story" follows a family of unidentified ethinicity and native citizenship as they immediately become refugees. Leaving almost everything behind in their own country- which remains unidentified-and then to lose it all during the extended, cold, and hungry journey to America, the (young) main character's emotions throughout the entire story is worth discussing.

This book is reco
Jun 21, 2017 Naomi rated it really liked it
This book remind me of the people who went through slaver and couldn't have there rights like they wanted to. They had a little girl that was happy to reach america she kept asking because she was ready to see the real world.
Wendy Wei
Oct 18, 2016 Wendy Wei rated it really liked it
I feel this story is fulling up with concern and compassion of immigrants. This story is talked about there were many families are coming to America in a big boat. They need to escape from the soldiers. Sometimes, they did not have anything to eat in the boat. It was a hard trip. But finally they reached to the new place, they celebrate Thanksgiving with new people in the America. I think this book help students to understand the hardships many immigrants face.
Carolina Castro
Oct 08, 2016 Carolina Castro rated it it was amazing
Read this to my third grade class of bilingual students. They were really engaged and could relate because most of their families came to the U.S. looking for a better life.
A bittersweet story of refugee immigrants, who after trial and hardship in leaving their homeland and coming to America in a small fishing vessel, happen to land on the shores of freedom on Thanksgiving day. The simple story conveys much without delving into much detail. A great book for helping elementary age children gain understanding and empathy for the plight of those forced to seek a better life in a new country.
Feb 25, 2017 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice book about a family of refugees from an unnamed island in the Caribbean written for younger children. It's one I would like to read to my grandkids.
Megan Cureton
This is a book about a family that lived in small village, until the night that the soldiers came and they had to leave immediately because they do not think the way they think. They couldn't take anything but a change of clothes and set off for America. They weren't the only ones setting off for America, as there were boats filled with people that were on their way also. How many days to America, his little sister asked. Father said not many, but the motors stopped and they were an hour away fr ...more
LaDonna Ritter
Feb 23, 2017 LaDonna Ritter rated it really liked it
Shelves: elm-572-books
How Many Days to America is set in a village in the Caribbean. The family must leave their home to flee to America for their safety. Their journey in a small boat with many other people is marked with adversity along the way to America.

Told through the eyes of a young child, this book is one to which elementary-age children can relate. It is a very good read-aloud selection for Thanksgiving.

I give How Many Days to America a rating of 4 stars.
Lindsay Richardson
Feb 16, 2015 Lindsay Richardson rated it it was amazing
How Many Days to America is a complex picture book that follows a boy and his family on their journey from the Caribbean to America. The narrator of the book, a young boy, describes how he and his family were forced to leave by soldiers and find safety in America. They leave behind all of their belongings except for money. The father explains that because they “do not think the way [the soldiers] think,” they must board a crowded boat with many other refugees to flee for freedom in America. Whil ...more
Mar 01, 2015 M_griffin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 3-5-books
Wonderful. This short story tells the journey of present-day immigrants fleeing soldiers in the Caribbean with hopes of finding their way to America. The narrator is a young Caribbean boy who explains the journey his family takes via boat as they leave their home to be free and safe in America. I like that the boy is the narrator because it makes the story more easily relatable for young readers. Readers get to hear the thoughts of fear, hope, and uncertainty that the young boy is having as he a ...more
Cynnea Schreibman
Apr 23, 2015 Cynnea Schreibman rated it liked it
This is a story about a family that is forced to leave their Island and head to America on a fishing boat. They went through a lot of trouble to get there but they were welcomed with love. The attitudes of the characters toward language and culture play a role in their lives because they were prepared for what was going to happen when traveling to America. They also didn’t know what Thanksgiving was and they were accepted in America. The family was also comforted by the fact that they were going ...more
Kathryn Anne
How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting and Beth Peck is about a family who is forced to leave their native country when it is taken over by soldiers who have differing beliefs. The family leaves in the middle of the night, bringing only clothes and none of their other belongings. The mother is forced to give up her wedding ring and jewelry to afford the trip to America. The family boards a small boat with other families and waits to arrive in America. When the boat breaks ...more
Feb 12, 2015 emma rated it it was ok
Shelves: youth, 2015
How Many Days Until America? is about a Caribbean family who escapes soldiers and travels to America by boat. The story begins when the main character, a little boy, is hiding under the bed with his sister. After the soldiers leave their home, the family flees to the crowded dock, where a fishing boat takes them to America. The way is difficult, as the boat breaks, people become sick, and thieves take all the group has. However, the people make it to America on Thanksgiving, where they are liken ...more
Natalie Brockmeier
Feb 26, 2015 Natalie Brockmeier rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book mainly due to the reason that I've never heard a story from this perspective. This is the story of a family from a Caribbean island coming to America.
I would read this story to a fourth or fifth grade class and discuss with them how not all countries are fair and have democracies like America. We could discuss different types of governments, and the freedoms that we have here. I would encourage them to discuss how difficult leaving everything they knew behind and coming to a
Nov 19, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  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
Kissa Williams
Mar 15, 2015 Kissa Williams rated it really liked it
In this historical fiction book, How Many Days to America? by Eve Bunting, a group of refugees takes on a dangerous journey by boat to America from a Caribbean island, it did not specify which one. The story is told from the perspective of a little girl who describes their journey and the obstacles they encountered upon arriving in America. The author, Bunting, is an immigrant from Ireland, who relates to this story. This story relates to immigration because the group of people are traveling out ...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;
Meghan Takayoshi
Traditional story about different cultures who migrated to America. In the story the family leaves in the middle of the night and the children seem to be a little out of the loop what is going on. The story goes on to tell the experience of sailing to America. The book was very realistic through the different events that occurred. This book was a little bit vague when it came to the reader learning where this group of people were migrating from. The illustrations were my favorite part of this bo ...more
Morgan Logan
Apr 25, 2016 Morgan Logan rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book is about an immigrant family who flees their native country to America. The narrator of the book is a young boy who describes how he and his family travels in a small boat to America. He shares his frustrations and hardships with readers. There were many people leaving the country, willing to give up everything for freedom. On this journey they deal with a broken sail, no food, and being turned away from villages. They were finally welcomed by a village with open arms and surprisingly ...more
Ally Irwin
Apr 26, 2015 Ally Irwin rated it really liked it
Bunting, E., & Peck, B. (1988). How many days to America?: A Thanksgiving story. New York: Clarion Books.

In the book “How Many Days To America” soldiers come to their house and take the family away. The family doesn’t think the same way as the soldiers so this is why it had to happen like that. The family then gets on the boat and they head to America. On the journey the family experiences hunger, sickness, and thieves. The kids in the family kept asking how many days till they would be in A
Karissa Olson
This is a beautifully told story about one family’s trip by boat to America. The trip was long, especially for the two main characters, a young boy and girl. On their journey, the story talked about how they had limited food, faced thieves and had many stormy nights. I thought this was an accurate representation of what it would be like to take that long of a boat journey. However the end of the story the family was welcomed with open arms to America, and was given food. I do question if whether ...more
Taryn Vogel
Feb 25, 2015 Taryn Vogel rated it it was amazing
Personal Reaction: This book was a big eye opener for me. A lot of the times you don't really realize what other cultures go through and how much of a struggle it is just to come to America. This book shows a great lesson in culture, and the struggles that others go through.

Purpose: I think this book is meant for 4th or 5th grade. It follows a family who leaves their village to start their journey to America. It is not an easy journey by any means, but they make it. This book is the best way to
Jan 12, 2016 Jack rated it it was amazing
I teared up on both readings over the child's retelling of their family's risky sea journey to America. Beth Peck's illustrations give the reader a "being there" experience. The story is even more relevant today than when first published in 1988. Most of us are pilgrims to this land and need to remember, even if it was a generation before our parents or grandparents, that we have much to be thankful for. Let that remembrance keep our hearts open and welcoming to others.
Age Range: 4 - 7 years
Emily Johnson
Apr 21, 2015 Emily Johnson rated it liked it
Shelves: culture-lesson
How Many Days to America? tells the story of a family, forced out of their own home by the invasion of soldiers, who make the decision to move to America. Only allowed to take one extra change of clothes, the family waits until dark, and then makes their way to the boat. With the worst conditions possible and on a very crowded boat the family make it to America just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving. There are many ways that this book could be integrated into the classroom. In the book the famil ...more
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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 about Eve Bunting...

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