In 1901, ten-year-old Hannah's small Russian shtetl buzzes with tales of life in America, a faraway land free from persecution. Cousin Esther has passage for two aboard a ship bound for New York, and Hannah convinces her Mama and Papashka to let her use the extra ticket. Will America really be everything they've dreamed of? Hannah is given a diary for her tenth birthday, and in it she records the dramatic story of her journey to America. She illustrates it liberally with whimsical artwork.