Originally published in Great Britain in 1983 by Hamish Hamilton Children’s Books, the first U.S. edition was published by Atheneum in 1983. The current edition, in paperback, was published in 2007, for ages twelve and up, by Harcourt. The novel takes place in 1904, aboard the SS Danzig as Jews, fleeing oppression and poverty, traveled steerage, bound for the U.S., hoping that a better life awaited them.
The novel concentrates on the relationships among a group of teenagers, their dreams and aspirations for their new lives. The plot includes brief sketches as they express their personal feelings about their current situation.
All the young people, except Yankel, are extremely virtuous. They fall in love, kiss, hug, and make plans for the future. For young readers, this may work, but it is not the real story of the trauma of traveling steerage for the people who survived the trip to America.
The author has lived in Manchester, England for forty years and has published seventy-four books, mostly for children and young people. She does a romanticized version of the true picture of that black time in Jewish history. Perhaps the young people who read Voyage will be inspired to learn the true story as they mature.