Joan Sandin author/illustrator/translator


TEACHERS!





Carl Erik's father shook his fist
at the clear blue sky.
"Rain!" he cried.
"We must have rain!"


But not a drop fell in Sweden all summer long that year of 1868. The crops did not grow. There would be no food for winter.

Then one day a letter came from Uncle Axel in America: "We think of you there in Sweden. We know how hard it must be...

It was a hard decision to make - leaving family, friends, and their farm behind.

The trip by boat was long and dangerous. There were storms and sickness...

CRASH! Carl Erik woke up with a start. An oil lamp had fallen to the floor. The ship was rocking. Seawater was everywhere. Trunks slid around on the wet floor. Carl Erik was afraid.

THE LONG WAY TO A NEW LAND

First book in a series about Swedish immigrants to America, published by HarperCollins. The sequels are THE LONG WAY WESTWARD. and AT HOME IN A NEW LAND.

Reading Rainbow Selection
Children's Reviewers' Choice (Booklist)
Notable Children's Books of 1981 (ALA)
USA Children's Books of International Interest (ALA)
Notable Children's Trade Books in Social Studies 1981 (NCSS/​CBC)


BACKGROUND


During the "hunger years" of 1868 and '69, more than 50,000 Swedes emigrated to America. Good farmland, jobs, social mobility, religious and political freedom drew them here. Newspapers, pamphlets and letters from earlier emigrants spread the Amerikafeber, or America fever.
Like thousands of other European emigrants, Swedes were willing to leave behind everything they knew for the dream of a better life in America, the "Land of Opportunity."

REVIEWS


Sandin's book depicts one family's journey from a small parched farm in Sweden to Liverpool and, finally, to New York. It is a personalized account - told from one boy's viewpoint - but is typical and therefore broadly informative. The author's own illustrations make a special contribution to both factual and emotive areas, being technically and historically well done as well as sympathetic to their human subjects.
Booklist

The straightforward account clearly describes the hunger, the rough crossing and the confused joy upon arrival that were integral parts of immigrants' experiences... The watercolors are darkish, highlighting faces and essential details for quiet drama. Joan Sandin's look backward in time makes for a good introduction to a subject rarely covered for this age group and reading level.
School Library Journal

Excellent for the Classroom

The Long Way to a New Land and The Long Way Westward are companion books that chronicle a family's journey from their Swedish farm, which is suffering from an extended drought, to a new home in Minnesota. The books describe the difficulty and dangers of the journey in a way that is non-complaining and full of optimism for a new life in America.

Teachers, these books are wonderful for integrating with other subjects and topics, such as immigration, westward expansion, steamships, trains, geography, and American life in the 1860s.

Reviewer: Dory Zinkand


Except for quoted reviews, all text and art copyright © Joan Sandin. All rights reserved.
No text or image may be reproduced without the express written consent of the author/​illustrator.