When the Bolshevik Revolution erupts in 1917 with pogroms persecuting Jews, Mama decides she and Raizle must escape to America, the "golden land" of safety. Carrying only a bundle of clothes and jewelry hidden in the false bottom of a metal can, they begin their long, unpredictable journey crossing the Black Sea at midnight in a tiny boat manned by a drunken sailor. Traveling by train through Romania, they're late in re-boarding at the station and stare in disbelief as the locomotive puffs away down the tracks. Mama anxiously approaches a conductor who then secretly guides them to a freight car bound for Paris, where they arrive at the famous Rothchild House smelling like cows. While there, Raizle learns to write her name and dreams of the day when she'll go to school "everyday, all day long." Crossing the turbulent Atlantic Ocean, they reach Cuba where Mama receives devastating news threatening to leave them stranded. But with incredible strength and spirit, she embraces a fateful solution. Mama, Are We There Yet?, a novel based on the author's life, is told through Raizle's eyes. It portrays the insecurity, discoveries and joys experienced when life and death depend on luck, faith and Mama.