West to a Land of Plenty : the Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi (Dear America)

by Jim Murphy

Paper Book, 1998


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Call number

J DA 1883 NY-ID


New York : Scholastic, 1998.


While traveling in 1883 with her Italian American family (including a meddlesome little sister) and other immigrant pioneers to a utopian community in Idaho, fourteen-year-old Teresa keeps a diary of her experiences along the way.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
Teresa and her family set out from their Italian neighborhood in New York City to follow a dream of creating an ideal community in Idaho. They take a train ride followed by a wagon train full of a little bit of love interest (for Teresa) and many hardships, including sickness and the death of our
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fellow narrator, Teresa’s younger sister, Antoinetta. Though Teresa’s diary does not take her all the way to Idaho, we are given a summery of her life when she gets there.
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LibraryThing member sgerbic
Reviewed August 2005

I learn so much about history every time I read on of these books. I love the way history is "seen" from the eyes of a teenager. Yes I know these diaries aren't really written by the teen, but still they teach in bits with knowledge given in small bites until the bigger picture
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is complete. I was fascinated that this story was about her journey and not about her arrival. It was interesting to see how she changed from an Italian immigrant from crowded New York to a little Annie Oakley. I wonder about all the people buried along side trails, are their bodies moved when modern strip malls want to develop on that spot? I'd heard stories about people moving pianos across the U.S. and some having to leave belongings alongside the road. I guess Indians or other settlers helped themselves. I also was interested that the author (the real one) was himself interested in Utopian settlements and based on this story on his interest. What the "Historical Note" describes is these groups were usually "isolated, communal labor and sacrifice and had a charismatic leader." What he is describing is basically describing is a cult. Interesting. More interesting is that they left the U.S. I never thought about it this way, leaving the U.S. when we all know it is the U.S.

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LibraryThing member justagirlwithabook
I don't remember much of these books as individual books, but I remember reading them all as a young, avid reader. I think that ultimately these books are the reason why I love historical fiction novels so much. They all did such a great job of taking me to a different time and place and making it
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come alive, seeing the world through an older, historical lens. I highly recommend any of the Dear America books to younger readers who love history and need to get hooked on reading!
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Original publication date



0590738887 / 9780590738880



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