Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Brothers of the Falls

Brothers of the Falls

Joanna Emery
Illustrator:  David Erickson 
For ages 8 to 12
Silver Moon Press, 2004   ISBN: 978-1893110373

Thomas and his younger brother James are refugees from the famine in Ireland. They have lost their parents and now all they have is each other. Thomas has decided that their best chance is to go to America, to start a new life in the country that everyone is talking about as being the land of hope and work.

In Liverpool, as the board the ship that is to carry them to America, the brothers are accidentally separated and James finds himself sailing across the great ocean with only his toy goat for company. How on earth is he going to survive without Thomas to look out for him?

As it happens James learns that he has more courage and resourcefulness than he thought. He makes his way to Niagara, finds a job and hopes that Thomas will some day be able to find him.

This inspiring tale about loss, courage, and hope must be very like the real stories of many migrants who came in America during the 1800’s. It gives young readers an excellent picture of what such an experience would have been like and at the same time it is an entertaining tale with strong characters and plenty of adventure.