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Item - The Other Side of the Hudson: A Jewish Immigrant Adventure

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Series: Do-It-Yourself Jewish Adventure Series — no. 5
Author: Roseman, Kenneth D.
Illustrator: Cwiekalo, Bill (cartography)
Date: 1993
ISBN: 080740506X / 9780807405062
Length: 140 pages
LC Cataloging in Publication Summary: As a young Jewish immigrant from Bavaria in the mid-nineteenth century, the reader makes decisions that mirror the choices made by new Jewish Americans as they settled in the United States.
Kveto's Thoughts:

If there is one thing that writers of American historical fiction never seem to get enough of it is writing about the "American immigrant experience." This is the second book in the series to cover the exact same territory, as did book 2: The Melting Pot. (Although this pales next to the excess of the You Choose series with at least five immigrant books: Irish Immigrants in America, Chinese Immigrants in America, German Immigrants in America, Mexican Immigrants in America and Ellis Island).

In this book you are a German-Jewish immigrant in the 1860s-1880s and most of the choices consist of which job to take or where to go (for example to St. Louis, St. Paul, Vicksburg, Milwaukee, etc., which all feel the same). And the message is the same as all the other immigrant books: work hard=always successful or don't work hard=never successful.

Although the start promises "Whatever you choose, it is sure to be exciting" I didn't really find choosing to be a carpenter or pub owner to be that interesting of a choice. To be fair, I got bored with it pretty quickly and didn't explore all the options.

Like all books in this series, it is well-researched and based on actual stories (for example, you can meet Samuel Clemens who uses actual Mark Twain quotes), but I found the subject too much of a retread of book 2.

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