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Dreams In The Golden Country: the Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903 (Dear America)
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Dreams In The Golden Country: the Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903

(Dear America)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  4,429 ratings  ·  151 reviews
New dreams and old traditions flourish and clash when a Jewish girl and her family emigrate from Russia to America.
Paperback, 188 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Scholastic (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  4,429 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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Start your review of Dreams In The Golden Country: the Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903 (Dear America)
Alex Blose
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the diary of Zipporah Feldman. Zippy's family came over to America in 1903 in hopes of a better life. Her father has already come over and established a life for himself and his family. Zippy has two sisters, Tovah, who becomes very involved in the unions, and Miriam, who falls in love with an Irish boy.

Zipporah wants to do what is best for her family and help out whenever she possibly can. Her Mama and Papa will not let her work though, on account of her age, so Zippy must go to school.
Jaye Smith
*NOTE* Some spoilers.
This was a great book - an accurate depiction of what life was like for immigrants coming to American and life for them on the Lower East Side at the turn of the century.
Twelve-year-old Zipporah Feldman keeps a diary from 1903-1906 - we join her at her first days in America at Ellis Island where she writes totally in Yiddish. She improves in school, her English-written entries in italics. Her family has many struggles - a smelly, interesting boarder, her older sister Miriam
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: already-read
This book is written like a diary. Zipporah is the one doing the talking. She is 10 years old when her family immigrates from Russia to America. She keeps a diary for about 18 months. All her hopes, dreams and tragedy's are written here. The first thing she has to do is go to school. Since Zipporah can't speak English very well they put her in with the first graders. But she learns fast and moves up through the school system. Zipporah's one big dream is to become an actress in the theater. Does ...more
Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, historical
I read this book several times. I really loved the Dear America series. I think they still have a place in YA literature today, and I think more girls should read them because it gives an opportunity to make connections to the past in a personal way.
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
I rated this book 3 stars because, I didn't really know much about life in NY was in 1903-1905 despite Ellis Island. This book didn't have much plot or setting. But had a lot of character. These are my thoughts on this book. I read this book when it was due, I just forgot to update this book. ...more
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
i like the book so much that it make me think of a part in my life that my famliy nevreto brake up or have to go some whare to live alone.
Eva Marie
I forget where I picked this up at but I finally read it less than two months ago. I have a friend or two who are slowly reading and/or collecting the Dear America series. I have no interest in doing the same but every once in awhile I read one that interests me for a specific reason.
Since I read a lot about the Holocaust and how the Jewish people survived, and in many cases didn't survive, this caught my eye because of the title. Of course, the date is also on the cover so I knew what I was get
Apr 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's 1903, and Zipporah Feldman, her older sisters Miriam and Tovah, and their mother have come to join Papa in New York City, fleeing the persecution of Jews in their small Russian village. As she struggles to adjust to the American way of life, fit in at her new school, and learn English, Zippy, as she is calld, writes in her diary of how her father is becoming more American every day, Miriam is in love with a Catholic boy, Tovah is obsessed with fighting for better labor condition, and Mama a ...more
Meadow Frisbie
Sep 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jewish, diary
Zipporah (Zippy) Feldman is a Jewish Immigrant to America, she has heard of all the great opportunity in America, and is eager to take some. Zippy runs into all the greatness of America, as well as some of her downfalls. She starts school, makes new friends, and watches her sister, Miriam fall in love.

This book was sweet. It is a true account of what Jewish Immigrants felt. It was well written, and full of information. I loved the sisters, even when different belifes seperated them. They still
Kelsey Hanson
I have always found this period of American history fascinating. The story of Zippy and her family shows the struggles faced by immigrants, particularly learning English and trying to combine the traditions of their country with the new ideas they were exposed to in America. I did feel a bit out of touch with some of the Jewish traditions and High Holy Days, because I am Catholic, like Sean, but I did find the family's devotion to their Jewish tradtions touching and it was interesting to learn a ...more
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I absolutley loved reading these books when i was younger, and actually remember historical events that occured because of these books. The pictures at the back of the book of the time period and event were great, and I would often stare at them for an endless amount of time. I think this was one of my favorites, the description of the triangle factory fire amazed me, and to this day I remember what happened and what the triangle fire was and what it did for the US. Awesome book overall :D
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
My mother-in-law gave me this children's novel after we visited the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side. The guided museum tour was fantastic (and highly recommended), and the experience helped me visualize the family's apartment and neighborhood in the novel. The main character, Zipporah, is a lovable, hardworking girl that you just want to root for. Go, Zippy! ...more
Sep 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, and not just because the sister's name was Tovah, which made me think of my friend's sister, Tova! I like reading about what it might have been like for immidgrants to this country in the early 1900s, and I didn't really know anything about Russian Jewish immigrants before reading this story. ...more
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Gives quite an informative view of life in the US for Russian Jewish immigrants.
Really, this is a 3, perhaps 3.5 stars but I was entranced by this. It is the fictional diary of a young girl,age 12, who was named Zipporah Feldman. Btw Zipporah means little bird in Hebrew. This is part of the Dear America series of fictional diaries telling about a pivotal year (or so) in the girl’s life. This is about a Jewish immigrant girl who comes from the Pale in Russia. Zipporah immediately sees the tug of the old world and ways while being attracted to the pull of the new world and th ...more
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Dreams in the Golden Country (New York City) / 0-590-02973-8

It seems I like all the Dear America books, and this one is no exception. Although I was expecting something a little more along the lines of "The Jungle" and a little less along the lines of "Fiddler on the Roof", this book does manage to neatly encapsulate the life of an immigrant to America in the early 1900s.

The author skims briefly over their stay at Ellis islands, the perfunctory and frightening medical exams, and the cramped apa
Mellanie C
Mar 06, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Zippora or what people call her "Zippy" has just come to America. She and her family are going to go stay with their dad. Their dad had been away in America for a long time, trying to earn enough money for them to come. Well after Zippy, her two sisters, and her mother have to wait to get a check up to see if they have any diseses. When someone came to check Zippy's eyes, she wrote something on her back. Zippy's sister took Zippy's jacket and put it inside out.
When they saw their dad, they were
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1903 Russia Proper was over six million square miles, and the Pale of Settlement was the only place Jews were allowed to live. It was 386,100 sq. mi. in the area we now call Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine. It was not a self-governing body, as they were subjected to numerous anti-/Semitic decrees that limited various activities and professions. Life was unpleasant, but manageable.

The Pale was abolished in 1917, when the Russian Revolution ended. Pograms were frequent, sabers rattled, homes destro
May 02, 2011 rated it liked it
I've read two Dear America books now, this being the 2nd. I had heard great things about them, but so far, I found them merely average. These are children books, but that doesn't mean adults can't like them, and I usually like children's novels.

Zipporah and her family are new immigrants to America. Here they are starting over with a new life, but they have to make sure they are adjusting to life appropriately as it is very different from what they are used to. While her sisters each have somethi
Sarah Crawford
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Zipporah Feldman, a young Jewish girl who came to American from Russia. At the time there was an effort by the government to kill Jews, and villages where Jews lived would be attacked by Cossacks, with people raping and killing the people who lived there.

Many Jewish people moved to the U.S. and this is the story of one family and what its various members had to do. A lot of the novel examines the daily lives of the people in the family. The novel looks at what the people do
Jessica Valdez
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book in particular, reminds me of when I was a little girl. The diary of Zipporah Feldman is slightly bilingual because Zipporah introduces the Yiddish language every so often. The book itself is pretty humorous because it is told from a 12-year-old's perspective and it's very entertaining because of it. Zipporah basically lets us into her daily life and allows us to experience her family's hardship while immigrating to the United States. Her experience is so heart warming and sad that I ju ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
An okay read except for two things. 1. I doubt very much Zippy would be standing in line at Ellis Island, writing away in her diary. And yet in the first passage, that is what the reader is led to believe.
2. I also doubt that a Russian Jewish girl would describe her life in quite that expository tone in her own diary. To her it's normal life. She would only describe things that to her are so normal and everyday to someone from outside, and her diary is supposedly her own private writing. Anne Fr
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dear-america
One of my favorites in the series. Zippy has a great sense of humor and the story makes me think of my paternal ancestors, who came to New York under similar circumstances to the Feldmans. I also enjoy the “ship” in this diary.

Three criticisms: Firstly, a plot point happens that was clearly modeled after something that happened the following decade. Secondly, Yiddish theater was on the decline at this point, and did not have quite the longevity that Lasky makes it out to have. Lastly, the Bintel
Madeline S
Dec 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Dear Diary... That's the first thing I read in this book, kind of like a diary(just so you know, I'm kinda into these 'Dear America' books right now). It's about a jewish immigrant named Zipporah Feldman, which I think is a really unique name. Anyway, they she and her family just moved to america to a crowded apartment where all the people have to SHARE a toilet. Ugg. So Zipporah goes through that, while her family is growing away from being seriously jewish. Except her mother. A really great bo ...more
Kate S.
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 8th-grade
Wow! This book was very good! Although I have already read it, it felt like I was reading it for the first time! If you like historical fiction, or books in journal-form, then this is this book for you! Even though it is a light read, I enjoyed it anyway. It covered serious topics such as the horrible incident at the Triangle Diamond Shirtwaist Factory. It also covered jewish immigrants coming to Ellis Island in search of a better life. I would definitley read this book again, and I reccommend i ...more
Elaine Shipley-pope
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
As all books in the Dear America series, this one is written in a first person journal format. Its one of my favorite ways a book is written in. Dreams in the Golden Country is filled with lots of family drama. Between major events that happen with her sisters and small ones that happen with her parents, Zipporah certainly has her hands full. Her family has just come to America and they really struggle finding a middle ground between this new way of life and the ways of the old country. Over all ...more
Callie Stillion
There was nothing that could have been worse about this book, and nothing that really could have been better. It was a solid four stars.
When Zipporah, (Zippy) goes to America from Russia, she notices a lot of change. Like then she has to go to school. But Zippy turns out to like it.
Some of the items in this book I was disappointed with. When her friend, Mamie, dies, she doesn`t write for nearly two months, and it dates it back to 1905. This book spanned over 2-4 years, unlike a normal Dear Ameri
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was very good and much like "One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping". Reading about what her and her family had to go through was interesting. While reading the book I got to know her, her life, and how she felt. She talked about how she got left out because she's an immigrant that does't speak English a whole lot. The way that she explain this part of the story was my absolute favorite because it made you feel like you were there with her. I definitely would recommend this to anyone that ...more
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent diary in the series. This book was a great one to follow the shirtwaist factory diary I just read previously. Again, I learned a lot more than I had known, and I found myself getting very involved with the characters and their situations. It continually amazes me that stamina these early immigrants had to succeed. They are to be commended. I don't think people growing up in my time really have a full appreciation of it. I highly recommend this book to both young and older reade ...more
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Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series.

She was born June 24, 1944, and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is married to Christopher Knight, with whom she lives in Massachusetts.

Book 15, The War of t

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