Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bessie's Pillow (Book review ~ Immigrant Biography)

My latest read is a new Immigrant story about a Jewish girl who comes to America from Lithuania in 1906. Bessie's Pillow is published by Strong Learning, Inc., and is the story of the Linda Bress Silbert's Grandmother, Bessie Dreizen. It is amazing to realize that something so small as a pillow could make such a huge impact on someone's life. You'll have to read it to find out why.

Love the transparent packaging!
In these times when immigration is on the tips of everyone's tongue, it is encouraging and thought-provoking to read the true story of the path of a legal immigrant and her family. To connect with the struggles and the triumphs faced by those who chose to come to our country's shores and assimilate into the great melting pot culture of America.

I particularly appreciated reading about that melting pot culture, and how so many of the people Bessie came in contact with were not concerned about her country of origin, her religion, the fact that she was a woman, but in her as a person. She notes about her Catholic Irish neighbors that when dealing with a health pandemic "despite our differences we all bury our dead and say prayers..."

While I feel that this is very much more a "girl's" book than a "boy's" book (I did not require my 16 year old son to read Bessie's Pillow for this review), if one is currently studying this specific time period, it is a fantastic read for upper middle school through high school, and would add great dimension and depth to a history study of the the first half of the 20th century.

Any story that comes from family history is by nature engaging and interesting. Linda Silbert has added to the conversational interest and engagement factor by including photos and a study guide at the end of the book. This guide gives additional historical and social information, and even more can be found on the dedicated website Bessie's America.

Explore articles and multimedia links on the topics of:

  • European Immigration
  • Famous People
  • Food and Recipes
  • Health
  • Housework
  • Movies
  • Music and Dancing
  • News
  • U.S. Presidents
  • Radio

There is so much interesting information to read, listen to and watch that I highly recommend visiting Bessie's America .

Bessie's Pillow is a story of courage, humility, strength, integrity and ingenuity, of love and loss, sorrow and joy. In short, it is a snapshot of the human experience, the brother and sisterhood of mankind, and a picture of the hope that America has brought to the many who have come to her shores (legally) seeking refuge and a better life. 

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
  • Company: Strong Learning, Inc.
  • Product: Bessie's Pillow
  • Ages: personally, I would suggest at least 14 years old, but read it for yourself and decide! 
  • Price: List price $19.95, available on the website for $15, with a discount for 6+. It is also available as a Kindle eBook. 
Visit Bessie's Pillow on Social Media: Facebook and Twitter 

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1 comment:

  1. So glad that you and your family enjoyed my grandmother's story and learned much about the world she lived in through the book and Bessie's America. America is still a melting pot!

    Dr. Linda


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