Hello, America

Written by Livia Bitton-Jackson
Review by Carol Anne Germain

This is the third and final book of Livia Bitton-Jackson’s journey from life as a refugee in the camps of Auschwitz to her new and exciting home, New York City. This young and determined woman faces her new struggles like a champion. She is not ashamed of her past and is taken aback by others who wish to hide it. After she becomes a teacher and her school’s principal instructs her to tell first graders that the numbers on her arm are her phone number, she adamantly refuses.

Hello, America also provides the reader with the opportunity to witness life as a female in the 1950s, a decade of numerous social changes. Young Livia, known as Elli, must face the challenges of teen sexuality as well as peer pressure.

Bitton-Jackson has a very enjoyable and tender writing style. One of the hardest parts with finishing this book is in knowing that that there is no forthcoming sequel. Certainly teen readers will appreciate the struggles Elli endured and the possibilities she embraced.