short stories: middle grade: Auf Wiedersehen, Привет
By Kelsey Gallant (ASIN: B010TW5QQ6)
Previously titled New Land, New Life
Recommended age: 8+
Nine-year-old Adele doesn't want to move away from her homeland of Germany to the new, unfamiliar land of Russia. But as her family makes the move and her life changes drastically, she wonders: is it better to have something good and lose it, and miss it the rest of your life? Or is it better to have never known it, so you don’t miss it when you lose it?
Time Period: 1800s
Word Count: 3,400
Style: first-person, diary format
My father says that we have to go to this new place, this Russia place, that I do not know. He says that the czar of Russia is promising all sorts of good things, freedom of taxes, religion, and military service, even free land—200 acres!—for farmers. Since my father is a farmer, this sounds good to him. But there is something I do not understand. My older sister, Elsha, says that these promises have been around for a while. She remembers a time, back when I was still a little kid, that many of our neighbors left for Russia, lured by these same promises. Why are we just going now?
I love my life here, in Germany, but I almost wish we could have left back then, when I was three years old. I would not have made so many good friends who I now have to leave. I would not have grown accustomed to my life here, on my farm, the farm that has always been part of my life. I would not remember so much. I would not miss it so much once we’d gone.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."