Jens and ‘Sofie Grossman’s Journey’

Jens and ‘Sofie Grossman’s Journey’

Jens leest De Reis van Sofie Grossman in zijn kamer, foto: Naomi Modde

“The ship taking Sofie to America is on fire.” Nine-year-old Jens looks up, worried. In his bed – his favourite place to read – his eyes shoot over the pages. The ship he is reading about is the steamship Volturno. It left for the United States in the autumn of 1913 from Katendrecht, where Jens lives.

Detail van het boek De Reis van Sofie Grossman

In De reis van Sofie Grossman (Sofie Grossman’s Journey), author Elisabeth Mollema writes about the journey Sofie makes from Russia to America with her younger sister Beile and cousin Joshua. In the United States, they are reunited with their father. Their journey is filled with adventures, special encounters and setbacks.

“Every day they got a little closer to America and papa. In her mind, Sofie saw him standing on the quay, waiting for the daughters he had had to live without for so long.”
- De reis van Sofie Grossman

“Very exciting” is what Jens calls the story about eleven-year-old Sofie. He finds it extraordinary that the story is partly true. Together with his mother, he looked up some facts on the internet. For example, whether the railway line from Russia to Rotterdam really existed.

Rutger Doop, history curator at FENIX, helped Elisabeth Mollema with information and historical photography, so that she could make Sofie’s story as true to life as possible.