An Immigrant’s Heroic Journey, 1889-1909
What happens when a little-educated peasant girl is chosen in 1903 to leave her family in Bohemia and guide her illiterate godfather across the Atlantic Ocean to the midlands of America? Once fourteen-year-old Anna Mrkvicka works her way to Iowa, she is without blood relatives for protection; she cannot speak English to find a way to escape a physically abusive step-aunt on an isolated farmstead; for three frightening years she is neither paid nor allowed enough to eat. How does she survive and fulfill her impoverished mother’s wish that somehow she find a way to bring her large family to her? Through Different Eyes reveals how Anna eventually overcomes overwhelming challenges. Hers is a tale that mirrors that of the heroic journeys of millions of unsung immigrants throughout history. This creative biography describes in detail her perilous steerage ocean trip, her fright on Ellis Island, her sleeping on tenement rooftops in the Lower East Side of New York City, and her discouragement during exhausting farm work in Iowa. It reveals how her grit and determination grow to prevail over daunting hardships, and how she succeeds in her race to bring her family to her before World War I engulfs Europe.