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At Ellis Island: A History in Many Voices Hardcover – May 22, 2007


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At Ellis Island: A History in Many Voices + If Your Name Was Changed At Ellis Island + Ellis Island (True Books)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (May 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689830262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689830266
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Nearly 100 years ago, Sura, 10, fleeing the Armenian genocide, writes letters to her lost mother about her voyage and the struggle to get past inspectors and join her father in America. Visiting Ellis Island today, a young girl thinks of her great-great-grandmother coming through in the rush of immigrants long ago. Terse, boxed, archival quotes by real immigrants from all over Europe and moving sepia-tone photos extend the two fictionalized narratives. The constant switch in viewpoints is sometimes confusing, especially the contemporary child's overview, but the facts are as dramatic as the fiction, and Krudop's full-color gouache pictures extend Sura's story, showing the crowded ship, the exciting and confusing landing, the terrifying interrogations, and, finally, the reunion with Papa. Many readers will find connections with their own family stories, whether in the past or coming here today. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Louise Peacock, who has always been interested in history, took a PhD in medieval studies before turning to children's liturature. Her first book, Crossing the Delaware, was inspired by a trip with her son to Washington's Crossing. The book, also told in many voices, was praised by Booklist with a starred review.At Ellis Island continues this unique method of historical exploration. Dr. Peacock lives in Haslett, Michigan.

Walter Lyon Krudop was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1966. He had his first painting lesson when he was eight years old and later studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has illustrated a number of books for young readers, including The Good-Night Kiss and Wake Up, Little Children by Jim Aylesworth; Black Whiteness by Robert Burleigh; and Crossing the Delaware by Louise Peacock. He lives with his wife, Sara, in New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Every teacher that teaches this subject should have this book.
Kristina B Dehlin
Great photographs, beautiful illustrations, and very sad and haunting retelling of the challenges these child immigrants faced.
M. Heiss
The information is easy to follow and stimulating to all kinds of discussion.
Gayle Potter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gayle Potter on July 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is the perfect addition to a teacher's toolbox for teaching about immigration. It contains a fiction story, original sources and a reflection of someone visiting Ellis Island today--all on the same page. The information is easy to follow and stimulating to all kinds of discussion. Dr. Peacock is a master storyteller and a wonderful historian. There are so many uses for this book. When I think of all the names engraved on the walls at Ellis Island I can only imagine each descendant would love a copy of this book. And--the book itself is beautiful. The paintings are stunning and the photographs grab the reader. This book is destined to become the standard for books about Ellis Island.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MathMom on February 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read this book to my daughter's third grade class as they learned about Ellis Island. I cried reading about this small girl traveling to America all alone. I think it was valuable for them to see what people were willing to do 100 years ago to find a better life for their children
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on April 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Part story of a fictional immigrant girl (Sera), part personal reminiscence by the author, and part quotations from other (real) child immigrants. This book is for older kids - the children portrayed in this book have experienced wartime atrocities and desperate times.

Sera is fleeing Turkey, where blood runs in the streets and her mother was murdered, to join her father in America.

Every page has a section in script type of Sera telling/praying the story of her emigration to her mother. The pages also feature block quotations from immigrant children's accounts or memoirs, with their names and ages. Most pages also contain a block in red type that are the author's personal observations... those seem anachronistic and out of place on the pages, interrupting the story and setting up a strange sense of present-time clashing with the past. It was hard to follow, reading it with my kids.

Great photographs, beautiful illustrations, and very sad and haunting retelling of the challenges these child immigrants faced.

My grandmother immigrated to America as a child - this gives good context. It's an interesting beginning to the conversation of how socialism and social unrest led to wholesale slaughter in Europe.

*** Update -- also read "The Arrical" by Shaun Tan -- a very moving book about the helplessness, connectedness, hope of the immigrants.*** The Arrival
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At Ellis Island: A History in Many Voices
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