Ellis Island and Immigration History

New York City has to be one of the greatest places in America, if not the world. Luckily for us, many authors have chronicled The Big Apple's antics in a way just right for kids.

Here are some of the books available. This is not yet a complete list, but I'm adding books to the list daily. If you wish to purchase any of these books, click on either the title or the book cover to be directed to Amazon.com. As a warning, I have put up pictures of the book covers to give you somewhat an idea of the style of each book (I know, I know. "Don't judge a book by its cover") so the pages may load slowly, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

The categories below are sorted by approximate age group and topical categories. Feel free to browse around. The same links are located on the left side of your screen. To return back to this page, simply click on the "Welcome" link on the left.

If this website came up without frames, click here to see the complete "New York City Books for Kids" website with frames.

For books about the Statue of Liberty, go to Statue of Liberty Books Page.

For fictional books about Ellis Island or immigration, go to the Historical Fiction Page

Other Pages of Interest:
Fiction & Historical Fiction: General Books About New York City (Nonfiction) | Fiction NYC Picture Books and "Easy Reader" Stories (Ages 4-8) | Fiction NYC Books (Ages 9-12) | New York Fiction for Young Adults | New York Historical Fiction (Colonial Period and Revolutionary War) | New York Historical Fiction (Ellis Island & Immigration) | New York Historical Fiction (Life in the 1800s) | New York Historical Fiction (Life in the 1900s)

NYC History: New York Biographies | Native Americans from New York (History and Historical Fiction) | New York History (Colonial Period and Revolutionary War) | New York History (Immigration and Ellis Island) | New York History (The 1800s) | New York History (The 1900s) | The World Trade Center and September 11, 2001 |

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Books for Beginning Readers

Coming to America: The Story of Immigration

By Betsy Maestro
Clearly tuned into her audience, Maestro (The Discovery of the Americas) offers a neatly distilled overview of U.S. immigration, covering extensive ground without oversimplifying. She astutely makes each reader a part of her story, stating, "All Americans are related to immigrants or are immigrants themselves." Referring to the arrival of the first Americans many thousands of years ago, the author emphasizes that there were millions of inhabitants by the time Columbus "discovered" America. She describes the many waves of settlers from European countries, the grim horror of the slave trade ("Instead of finding freedom, these Africans lost theirs"), the ordeal of inspection at Ellis Island and the ongoing stream of refugees who take shelter in the U.S. for a variety of reasons. Ryan's (Darcy and Gran Don't Like Babies) busy, expressive watercolor art makes it easy for readers to share both the anxiety and exhilaration of the individuals it so vividly depicts.

Description from Publishers Weekly

Brava to Besty Maestro for taking the complex issue of "immigration" and making it accessible for all children. Kudos to Ms Ryan whose paintings are a joyous depiction of the diversity of this country. From the first Americans thousands of years ago to those who arrived only yesterday, their goal was always the same: a better life for their children.

Desription from Children's Literature

An introductory history of immigration from thousands of years ago through the present, focusing on why different groups of people came to America and how they became a part of our national heritage. Maestro points out that when Christopher Columbus "discovered" the Americas, millions of people were already living on these continents. Different perspectives are incorporated into the text, including the harsh treatment Indians received and the forced immigration of Africans. The various laws that the U. S. has adopted to control immigration are explained. A brief history of Ellis Island is included. The colorful, exuberant watercolors show men, women, and children of all nationalities. Most of the scenes are hopeful or festive, although one illustration of a crying child being held back from a relative who was rejected at Ellis Island is upsetting. A table of dates provides a quick summary of immigration highlights. A useful overview of a complex issue, attractively designed and clearly written.

Description from School Library Journal

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Coloring Book

By A. G. Smith
Educational coloring book details Liberty's rich and stirring history; also immigration at Ellis Island. 45 illus. Captions. Introduction.

Description from Publisher

Books for Older Readers

If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island

By Ellen Levine
Arranged in Q&A style, this survey of earlier immigrations asks: "Did all immigrants come through Ellis Island?" (no); "Did you have to have a job waiting for you?" (again, no; in fact, it was not allowed). It's evident that America has always been a polyglot magnet--even in 1643, 18 languages were spoken in one colonial area. It's also evident that there's been long-standing prejudice against certain immigrants (ability to read was required for entrance, and first and second class arrivals didn't have to sweat it out at Ellis Island). Perhaps most interesting here are the individual stories: the name change in the author's own family; the child who had never seen a banana and ate it whole; the ``six- second'' medical exam. Levine (If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon, 1986) gives multiculturalism an extra boost by ending with a sampling of words and other contributions from many heritages. Nostalgically warm impressionistic paintings, suffused with sepia, simultaneously signal suffering and hope.

Description from Kirkus Reviews

Despite the book's somewhat misleading title (only two pages are devoted to the practice of changing names), Levine ( I Hate English! ; If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King ) offers a comprehensive, well organized discussion of the immigration procedures followed at Ellis Island between 1892 and 1914. One- or two-page chapters offer concise answers to questions ("What did people bring with them?"; "What happened if you were detained?"; "How did people learn English?"), enabling youngsters to digest easily a significant amount of information. Facts about the many rigorous routines and tests (medical, legal, literacy) that new arrivals endured are peppered with the intriguing personal reminiscences of individuals who lived through them. Sometimes sharply focused, sometimes effectively hazy, Parmenter's acrylic paintings admirably evoke the period, as well as the anguish and joy that characterized the bittersweet Ellis Island experience.

Description from Publishers Weekly

Ellis Island

By Patricia Ryon Quiri
Large print, short paragraphs, and a clear, easy-to-read text make this an appropriate resource for beginning readers. Numerous black-and-white and full-color archival and contemporary photographs illustrate the text. A brief annotated list of Web sites and links to information about Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are also included. An up-to-date list for further reading, a glossary, and an index complete the book. Older students researching this famous landmark will want to consult R. Conrad Stein's The Story of Ellis Island.

Description from School Library Journal

Ellis Island Interviews: In Their Own Words

By Peter Morton Coan
Coan takes readers on an emotional tour of Ellis Island with this elaborate, readable collection of interviews. As he makes clear, from 1892 to 1924, Ellis Island was truly the "golden door" to America; later, quotas and legislation made US citizenship much more difficult to obtain. The voices captured in first-person narrations--bemused, feisty, poignant--express enthusiasm for their new country, but most are unafraid to look back. The book is divided into the geographical regions from which the interviewees emigrated: the United Kingdom, Northern, Eastern, and Western Europe, Scandinavia, and the Middle East. Each interview comes with an introduction revealing where the speaker settled, thus connecting the old stories to the present. A few famous subjects make appearances among the 130+ men and women included: Bob Hope explains how his first sight of the Statue of Liberty is linked to his theme song ("Thanks for the Memories") and Otto Preminger is frank about his prospects had his film career succeeded in Germany--he would not have been able to escape Hitler. With so many stories, and so many voices, this is a fine collection of primary-source materials.

Description from Kirkus Reviews

Ellis Island: Doorway to Freedom

By Steven Kroll
The history of Ellis Island from Colonial to modern times is recounted in an important picture book which blends drawings with details on how the island become a landing point for immigrants. Included within the body of the history are plenty of details on how immigrants entered this country, and the paths they travelled in order to enter. An excellent coverage for beginners.

Description from Midwest Book Review

Facts, dates, and numbers are a strong presence in this general history of Ellis Island, beginning with Colonial times and then focusing on the building of the immigration station and the millions who passed through there when they first came to America. Ritz's illustrations include pen-and-ink drawings of the early period, images from familiar photographs, and color pictures in pencil and watercolor. A few of the collage designs are too crowded, but in most cases the combination conveys the diversity of the crowds and the individual's bewilderment. One powerful picture combines the literacy test cards in many languages and alphabets with the view of one man being interviewed by uniformed officials. The text is flat, but this is one of the few books for young readers that provides a factual overview. Read it with more personal accounts, such as Russell Freedman's classic photo-essay Immigrant Kids and Veronica Lawlor's impressionistic I Was Dreaming to Come to America.

Description from Booklist

Suitable for primary through middle grades, {the book} has enough interesting facts and visual appeal to be used as a read-aloud introduction to the physical site, or as a broader background to the immigration story in American history. Karen Ritz's exceptional portrayals of immigrants were inspired by photographs from the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Her use of muted, cool watercolors to highlight pencil drawings produces the effect of a dated scrapbook or album. . . . This book is recommended for public and elementary school libraries. . . . It provides a useful, fascinating record of an American monument.

Description from Multicultural Review

I Was Dreaming to Come to America:
Memories from the Ellis Island Oral History Project

By Veronica Lawlor
Foreword by Rudolph W. Giuliani
Lawlor's debut, a picture-book collection of pieces culled from the Ellis Island Oral History Project, is visually and emotionally stunning. In 15 carefully chosen excerpts, immigrants from various ethnic backgrounds recount their reasons for coming to America and describe their feelings about leaving their country, about making the trip or about arriving on a foreign shore; all but two of the narrators were under 20, one only six at the time of their voyages. Whatever the circumstances, each vignette reflects a strong sense of hope. Lawlor's handpainted paper collages are equally powerful. Their haunting images are strikingly set against ecru-colored pages that bear faintly printed motifs from the pictures they border. Spare details-a girl floating past Lady Liberty, a figure literally putting down roots in two lands-capture these travelers' turbulent emotions. This selection gives credence to the reminiscences of an Ellis Island inspector: "In those days there were crying and laughing and singing all the time at Ellis Island."

Description from Publishers Weekly

Handpainted collages by Lawlor grace these short yet moving glimpses into the lives of immigrants who braved the sea voyage to America. They were all children when they arrived, and their memories are the things a child remembers: a mother's treasured high-top shoes; being hungry, yet feeding a breakfast of strange American oatmeal to the birds; and leaving Ellis Island decorated with identification tags. This is an affecting little book that should help all of us remember the grit and hope that formed our nation.

Description from Children's Literature

"Going to America then was almost like going to the moon." Distilling the experience of the 12 million European immigrants who came through Ellis Island, this small picture book draws on the oral histories of people who remember how it was. Each left-hand page quotes one or two paragraphs from personal interviews: people talk about what they left behind, the journey to America, what they expected, their first impressions, and what they found. For example, a former immigration official describes the "Kissing Post" on the island, where loved ones embraced after their long separation. On the right-hand page, facing the words, are framed collage folk-art pictures whose playful fantasy expresses the energy, the dreaming, and the dislocation of the immigrant experience. One picture shows the brown high-top shoes that a woman has kept all these years because her mother wore them when she first set foot on American soil. Appended is a brief biography of each person quoted. As Lawlor says, this account is the "melting pot" view of American immigration. Use it with books such as Allen Say's Grandfather's Journey and Jacob Lawrence's The Great Migration to extend the account and to help kids seek out their own family stories.

Description from Booklist

Ellis Island (We the People)

By Lucia Raatma
Set out into the wilderness with Lewis and Clark, or ride along on the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails with the pioneers who built the West. This series presents the important events and people that shaped United States history through engaging text and historically accurate photos and drawings. Each book includes a supplemental section on important dates and people, suggestions for finding more information, and a Did you Know section filled with lots of interesting and unusual facts.

Description from Publisher (Refers to entire "We the People" series.)

Tenement: Immigrant Life on the Lower East Side

By Raymond Bial
Spacious layouts, with clearly reproduced black-and-white archival photographs-from Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Lives and the author's beautifully composed, stunning color pictures, many taken at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum-show a community that has been home to thousands of immigrants past and present. The finely written, spare text, with quotes from such people as reformer Riis and author Sydney Taylor, tells of people crammed into small, dark flats, seeking fresh air on fire escapes and rooftops, lacking adequate sanitation, "protected" by rarely enforced housing regulations, and laboring long hours at home or in factory sweatshops. Bial's detailed descriptions transport readers back into the cramped quarters and crowded streets and alleys of late-19th- and early 20th-century New York, but this could be any city with a large immigrant population. The material complements and expands on that in Russell Freedman's Immigrant Kids. Although the lack of chapters or an index makes the book first and foremost a work to browse, read, and savor, its brevity makes it suitable for a classroom read-aloud or report. The pictures are an added bonus for photography students.

Description from School Library Journal

"Half the world doesn't know how the other half lives" goes the old saying. This book about tenement life will certainly be an eye-opener to many young people who are used to their own space where they can live and dream. Although there have been several books about tenement life, including the recent 97 Orchard Street, in this one, the writing is particularly clear and sharp. Calling upon and quoting the writing of reformer Jacob Riis (and featuring his compelling photographs), Bial explains simply, yet engagingly, what tenement life was like--the dank apartments, people packed against people, the noise and smells from the street that pervaded everything. Effectively weaving in quotations, laws, personal remembrances, and his own astute commentary, he paints a word picture of life at the turn of the last century. Along with Riis' photographs, Bial provides some of his own, taken at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City. These crisp color photographs bring tenement life even closer: a dresser top with medicine and photographs, a mattress covering a chest and chair--a child's makeshift bed. An excellent example of how books can bring the past to the present.

Description from Booklist

The immigrant experience often invites the kind of optimistic rhetoric with which Bial opens his text. He quotes from Anzia Yezierska who, on her arrival in America, speaks of "my young, strong body, my heart and soul pregnant with the unlived lives of generations clamoring for expression." Bial quickly moves to his subject: the pessimistic reality of immigrants who ended up living in tenements on New York's Lower East Side. Relying heavily on reformer Jacob Riis's words and photographs, Bial documents the rise of the tenement to house the heavy influx of immigrants to Manhattan's lower end and the appalling conditions under which those tenements "prospered." Bial's own photographs-taken at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum-have a compelling clarity and composition that make beautiful even a starkly lit hallway or a single room functioning as both living quarters and bedroom. An opened suitcase reveals neatly folded garments, including a pair of seemingly pristine white gloves; a bed shows a spotless white nightgown laid out by the side of pure white pillowcases trimmed with lace. One needs the despairing humans (homeless boys nestled in an alley; a family of four whose blank faces stare at the camera) of Riis's stark black-and-white photographs to feel the horror of poverty. Young readers will do well to turn to the excellent further reading section that cites four Riis titles as part of its bibliography as well as children's fiction and selected websites.

Description from Horn Book

As the title suggests, Bial (The Underground Railroad) focuses this illuminating photoessay on the immigrants who settled on Manhattan's Lower East Side from the early 1800s to the 1930s. Rather than finding the fabled land of opportunity, many lived in poverty in rundown tenement flats plagued by poor ventilation, little light and inadequate sanitation. Through period photos as well as his own color shots (many taken at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum), the author describes and depicts typical cramped apartments. These two-room flats sometimes served as both living quarters (for a dozen or more people, often newly arrived relatives or paying boarders) and family "sweatshops." Bial touches on the sobering particulars: with no running water to allow residents to bathe or launder clothes properly, diseases were rampant, and so many babies died that tenements were known as "infant slaughterhouses." Historic photos, including many famous works by the reformer Jacob Riis, make the plight of these families startlingly real. Bial's conclusion, that most immigrants (or their children or grandchildren) eventually prospered, closes the volume on a positive note.

Description from Publishers Weekly

Ellis Island: New Hope in a New Land

By William Jay Jacobs
Archival photographs document a moving history of Ellis Island and immigration to America. The author traces the trip to freedom, describing the three weeks in the steerage area, the feared medical examinations, and finally the joy of seeing relatives. Particularly timely for the opening of the Ellis Island Museum and Immigrant Wall of Honor.

Description from Horn Book

Black-and-white historical photographs plentifully enhance the spaciouslyprinted text, which occasionally employs more sophisticated vocabulary and concepts than the format implies. . . . A closing generalization about 'escape from harsh governments like those of Cuba, the USSR, and the countries of eastern Europe' may already be dated, and contemporary American prejudice against immigrants is not mentioned. The central thesis, however, that 'we are all wanderers or the children of wanderers,' is persuasively presented.

Description from Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Immigrant Kids

By Russell Freedman

  • An ALA Notable Book
  • NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies.

Renowned photo-essayist Freedman has written two books, Kids at Work and Immigrant Kids, that speak to children through engaging text and pictures. Immigrant Kids captures images of newly arrived children at work, play and learning. Children can extend their appreciation of these books by collecting photographs of their peers to document their own lives at school. These photo-journals can be combined with items representing contemporary lifestyles (e.g. a compact disc, videocassette, computer chip) to create a time capsule that could be stored for future generations attending the same school.

Description from Children's Literature

A refreshingly un-woeful introduction to the experience of being a young urban immigrant around the turn of the century. . . . photos make the scenes real and recollections of immigrant childhoods give them a personal dimension . . . Concise, graphic, and designed in every respect to catch and hold the reader's interest.

Description from Kirkus Reviews

97 Orchard Street, New York:
Stories of Immigrant Life by Linda Granfield

(Lower East Side Tenement Museum)
Guided by the stories of four families known to live in the titular tenement, author Linda Granfield provides an illuminating look at life at the turn of the century and beyond in 97 Orchard Street, New York: Stories of Immigrant Life. Arlene Alda's sensitive b&w photographs of the building, which has been preserved as the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, share space with historical images and artifacts from the museum's collection, as well as photographs of the neighborhood today.

Description from Publishers Weekly

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum opened in New York City in 1994. "Urban archeology," "diligent research," and "interviews with former residents" facilitated the re-creation of this building that housed immigrants from the mid-1800s to its closing in 1935. Essentially a photo-essay of material from the museum, the text is divided into 13 brief sections beginning with "Mystery: The Gumpertz Family." Readers learn that "Julius Gumpertz walked out of the building-on a crisp October morning in 1874" never to be heard from again. Working as a seamstress, his wife managed to support her four young children, one of whom "died of diarrhea, an all-too-common fate for nineteenth-century infants." Each black-and-white photograph is accompanied by a detailed caption. Other sections introduce three more families and also tell their stories through artifacts and oral histories. Additional segments such as "Early Immigration" and "Ellis Island: Portal of Hope" deal with more general aspects of immigration at that time. Chock-full of the simple details of everyday life as well as larger tales of human joy and suffering, this volume presents an intriguing window into urban tenements just before and after the turn of the century. Be aware that there is no table of contents, no index, and the information presented does not follow a simple time line. However, the book is a useful addition to general collections, especially as a starting point for further investigation.

Description from School Library Journal

Grandma Esther Remembers: A Jewish-American Family Story

By Ann Morris
Morris describes the routines of three families, emphasizing how the grandmothers and grandchildren interact with one another. In the course of the narratives, some information about the women's personal histories emerge. Each story is fairly interesting and, while there is a pattern to the series, each title presents some aspects of the culture and family values that it depicts. An activity is included-most often a recipe-and suggestions of other ways for children to find out about their family history. Bright, colorful photographs, some by Linenthal and others provided by the families, accompany the clearly written prose. A sentence or two on each page is printed in large, colored bold type, and the rest of the text is in a smaller font. It is not apparent why these particular passages have been highlighted, since they neither contain the most significant bits of information, nor are they particularly relevant to the illustration on the page. The final page presents a "family tree" with photographs of the participants in the story and other relatives.

Description from School Library Journal

Life on Ellis Island

By Renee C. Rebman
More than 12 million immigrants were processed through Ellis Island immigration station in New York Harbor, which operated as a small city contained within itself. The immigrant's experiences of heartache, disappointment, and triumph are an indelible part of history.

Description from Publisher

A well-organized and thorough account of this historic landmark. The introduction provides background information concerning immigration to America and conveys the immigrants' feelings of confusion, sadness, and hope. Chapters focus on topics such as detainment and deportation, food and entertainment, and aid societies and services. The numerous firsthand accounts range from dismal to uplifting. While some immigrants recalled overcrowding, endless delays, and painful medical practices, others reminisced about the Kissing Post and island marriages. Rebman's straightforward, objective presentation successfully balances both the positive and negative aspects of the Ellis Island experience. In addition, the author details the island's role as an immigration center to its abandonment and eventual restoration. Black-and-white photos relate a sense of the bewilderment and wonder that many of these new arrivals felt.

Description from School Library Journal

Cornerstones of Freedom: Ellis Island

By R. Conrad Stein
The "Cornerstones of Freedom" detail important events in United States history. Children are given the sense of being witnesses to history-in-the-making and contemporaries of famous people who helped shape the United States into the world power it is today. Starting with the Spring 1992 titles, a brand-new format has been introduced using more photographs (many in full-color), historical engravings, and an easy-to-read typeface. Many popular previously published titles will be updated in this new format. Each book includes an index.

Describes the history, closing, and restoration of the Ellis Island immigration center and depicts the experiences of the immigrants who came to Ellis Island at the turn of the twentieth century.

Description from Publisher

Ellis Island

By Catherine Reef
Attractive, serviceable introductions to two national monuments. In five readable chapters, each book traces the background and historical significance of its subject and includes a timeline, visitors' information, and a detailed index. There's plenty of information for students writing reports and prospective visitors without overwhelming recreational readers. Black-and-white and full-color photographs and reproductions capture the drama and importance of these sites.

Description from School Library Journal

A Haitian Family

By Keith Elliot Greenberg
Unlike A Family from Bosnia and others in the Raintree Steck-Vaughn series, which shows families living in another country, books in Lerner's Journey between Two Worlds series deal with immigrants to America who are fleeing dangerous political or economic situations. In this series entry, the country they are fleeing is Haiti, and the story leading up to the arrival of Gregory Beaubrun's family to the U.S. is a painful one. Greenberg first outlines Haiti's colonial history, through the overthrow of Aristide, then follows with specific events (including beatings) that sent the Beaubruns to the refugee camp in Guantanamo Bay and eventually to New York. At the end of the book, the Beaubruns have settled in America, though they hope eventually to return to their home in Haiti. This series offers an excellent opportunity for teaching recent history, as well as a way to help American children understand new members of their communities.

Description from Booklist

The focus of this entry in the Journey Between Two Worlds series is not a family; instead, Greenberg (Magic Johnson, 1992, etc.) succinctly covers the history and politics of Haiti and how the latter has affected refugees, one family in particular. An introduction defines refugees and the different reasons for the displacement of people; it is seen as a complex problem with ``no easy answers.'' The history of Haiti is described, as are recent events there; the effect of these events upon Bazelais Beaubrun and his wife and four children is clear--thus, history comes alive. Readers learn of the family's persecution, the perilous voyage by flimsy boat to the US, detention at a Florida camp, and immigration to New York City. The city is not paradise; they live in a dangerous neighborhood and cling to connections with their Haitian community; Greenberg also presents the advantages of their new life, and it is telling that the family elects to stay in New York while a democracy is set into place in their homeland. A worthy and fascinating introduction to issues of politics, history, and sociology, the book has some flaws: occasionally choppy transitions, short shrift on customs and religion, and disruptive parenthetical explications of words, e.g., "colony (overseas settlement)"; it's a patchy solution to the problem of addressing difficult concepts. For the most part, the quality of the illustrative material is clear and instructive; a painting of "boat people" at sea being rescued by a helicopter is heart-wrenching.

Description from Kirkus Reviews

Ellis Island (Visiting the Past)

By Tristan Boyer Binns
Visiting the Past is a unique new series that takes students on a guided tour of key places that define human history. Readers gain understanding of the past and how it affects the present by examining each site as it appears today as well as how it would have appeared at its peak. These books overflow with numerous photographs, detailed site maps and diagrams, beautifully rendered reconstruction artwork, and comprehensive text - all of which combine to breathe life into a place, a people, and an era.

Description from Publisher

Life at Ellis Island

By Sally Senzell Isaacs
Over time, our everyday lifestyles have changed significantly. Picture the Past introduces basic history by visiting various communities from our past. Filled with photos and reconstruction artwork, topics include learning points recommended by key national standards - including information on food, clothing, shelter, education, communication, play, community organization, and family life. Topics combine to introduce important political and geographical events as seen through the lens of everyday life.

Description from Publisher

Double-page spreads describe not only the Ellis Island experience during the peak immigration years 1892-1924, but also why people left their homelands, where they came from, their voyages, and what they did after gaining entry to the U.S. Abundant use is made of sometimes-grainy period photographs and reproductions as well as current-day renderings of how things looked in the early 20th century.

Description from School Library Journal

A Personal Tour of Ellis Island

By Robert Young
Learn what it was like in 1920 on Ellis Island, the gateway of U.S. immigration in the early nineteenth and twentieth centuries. You'll meet a young Russian immigrant; an immigration service worker; an inspector who interviews prospective immigrants; a young boy who uses his Italian language skills to help a confused immigrant; and a German family leaving Ellis Island for New York City. Through the eyes of each of these people, you will be transported to another place and time.

Description from Publisher

Most immigrants were introduced to America at the complex Ellis Island Immigration Station. In the years between 1892 and the station's closing in 1954, the efficient center processed over 17 million newcomers. Following a variety of fictional characters, readers are led through the facility and experience the sights and sounds much as the immigrants did. Through the words and observations of immigrants Anna, Heidi, Thomas the grouper, Inspector Simpson, and Joseph the interpreter, readers share firsthand their apprehension, indignity, fear, frustration and joy. The well-documented, lively text is accompanied by fascinating sidebars, photographs and diagrams. An afterward explains how Ellis Island fell into disrepair and the efforts of many to create a museum as a legacy to all who passed through its portals.

Description from Children's Literature

Ellis Island
Looking for quick and easy Internet activities to supplement the topics you teach? These folders can help! Each folder contains all the Web resources you and your students need to explore Ellis Island, the Oregon Trail, Jamestown, pyramids and mummies, and other topics. Inside, youčll find background information, an Internet scavenger hunt, reproducible worksheet, and more Web-based activities. The activities are designed to help your students develop critical-thinking skills and build their Internet-research skills. Ideal for independent learning!

Description from Publisher

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