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Journey to Ellis Island: How My Father Came to America

by Carol Bierman
Illustrated by Laurie McGaw

Published by Hyperion/Madison Press Books, 1998
48 pages
ISBN: 0-7868=0377-0

Ages 7 - 12

When war came to Poruset, Russia, in 1916, Rachel Weinstein decided it was time to move her young children, Yehuda and Esther, to a new home in America. But their journey on foot across war-torn Russia was treacherous--along the way they got caught in a crossfire and Yehuda's hand was badly wounded. Even after he fully recovered at a hospital in Kiev, the family worried they would be turned back at Ellis Island, in spite of the fact they had an older son waiting for them in New York City. This highly visual account of the experiences of one Jewish immigrant family is told from the point of view of 11-year-old Yehuda, the author's father. His realistic worry that his weakened arm will be a problem, along with his anticipation about meeting an older brother he has only heard about, add dramatic tension to an already compelling story. The author's attention to the small details of everyday life and Jehuda's credible childlike concerns will make the story enormously appealing to today's young readers. Family pictures, documentary photographs of Ellis Island immigrants and artifacts, and original bronze-colored drawings illustrate Jehuda's story. CCBC categories: Historical People, Places and Events. (KTH; Feb 22)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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