This title focuses on an extremely hard working Finnish family in Minnesota who live with very little for the goal of eventually purchasing a farm.
A Finnish Immigrant, says, "Though I have written in a variety of genres including poetry, plays, and essays, historical fiction remains my favorite.
Interviewing people and searching through period newspapers, diaries, letters, books, and magazines in an attempt to capture the character of another time is both a challenge and an adventure. Set in the author's own hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota inthe journal weaves the story of Otto Peltonen and his Finnish family who come to America in search of the good life as father and son work in the mines of northern Minnesota.
Readers will be able to put a human face to terms such as scab labor and being blacklisted. Durbin presents graphic word pictures of terrible working conditions; management's disregard for human life; corrupt supervisors; and an iron-willed determination on the part of the mine owners to squelch any attempts that the immigrant workers might make to unionize.
Clandestine union meetings, and fellow workers and neighbors paid to spy on behalf of the Oliver Iron Mining Corporation, add intrigue to a tale of immigrant dreams and harsh realties in a new country.
Mostly, though, this is a story of human resilience and hope for the future. Summary Fifteen-year-old Otto Peltonen, with his mother and two sisters, leaves his home in Finland to join his father already working in the iron mines of Minnesota.
It is May ofand the two-week crossing is wretched, with seasick passengers crowded into steerage, "the lowest compartment of the ship. After a joyful reunion in Duluth and a short train ride to Hibbing, reality sets in.
Otto sees that their house is really a "three-room shack with a second bedroom tacked on the rear "in a squatters' camp called Finn Town. Dust from the mine covers everything, and mosquitoes swarm through the cracks in the walls. Otto's father must work long hours for low wages under dangerous conditions where miners are constantly being injured or killed.
He dreams of earning enough money to buy a farm and move his family out of Finn Town. Otto becomes friends with Kaarlo Nikko Nikkola, and together they go fishing and explore the town. Nikko introduces Otto to his wonderful collection of books and lets him borrow them any time he wants.
Otto begins school, but decides to drop out after a year and work in the mine in order to help save money for the farm. The miners, angry at the poor working conditions, begin to talk about Socialism and striking, but they must guard what they say because there are hired spies who can blacklist a miner so he'll never work anywhere again.
When the Union submits just three demands to the mining company, the company fires workers. The miners strike, but with few supporters, they gain nothing. The company hires replacement workers, and things get violent.
Many Finns are blacklisted and forced to leave town. Some, like Nikko's family, must return to Finland. Fortunately, Father has found a farm to buy and with the money he and Otto have saved is able to pay the down payment.
With the extra money Father has earned from woodworking, they buy a cow, tools, and a plow and get ready to move. Their dream of oma tupa, oma lupa has become a reality.
Thinking About the Book Who inspired Otto to keep a journal? What were some of the reasons so many Finnish people left their country between and to start a new life in the United States?
How does the son's opinion of his father change when Otto goes to work in the mines? What is the meaning of the Finnish proverb "Oma tupa, oma lupa? What happens to the family by the end of the story?
Otto and his father try hard to get the miners organized and get better pay and working conditions, but that never happens, though the family does save enough money to buy a farm. Do you think The Journal of Otto Peltonen is a story of success or failure?
Student Activities Divide the following terms among the members of your discussion group. Ask each person to define the term and explain its importance in The Journal of Otto Peltonen.The Journal of Otto Peltonen: a Finnish Immagrant Setting Personal Opinion The setting of my book is Hibbing, Minnesota in a small Finnish themed town called Finn town.
1. Otto and his family move to Minnesota 2. A lot of Mine accidents happen. 3. Helena (Ottos little sister) catches yellow fever. 4. Otto meets his new best friend Nikko. ATTENTION ALL BASEBALL BUFFS!: If you're into baseball you should definitely read, The journal of Biddy Owens.
This is a true story about a seventeen year old boy who lived in the 's, when there was segregation between blacks and whites. The journal of Otto Peltonen, a Finnish immigrant topic_facet Diaries, Emigration and immigration, Finnish Americans, Iron mines and mining, Strikes and lockouts.
The Journal of Otto Peltonen, a Finnish Immigrant. New York: Scholastic. Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide) Durbin, William, , The Journal of Otto Peltonen, a Finnish Immigrant.
New York: Scholastic, MLA Citation (style guide) Durbin, William. The Journal of Otto Peltonen, a Finnish Immigrant. First edition. The journal of Otto Peltonen a Finnish immigrant 1st ed. by William Durbin. 2 Want to read; Published by Scholastic in New York.
Written in English. Well that's the dilemma Otto Peltonen has to endure in the book The Journal of Otto Peltonen written by William Durbin. As Otto moves from his homeland in Finland he has to adjust to a /5(11).