At Ellis Island: A History in Many Voices
by Louise Peacock; illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop
Ellis Island was the gateway to America and the promise of freedom for thousands. Its walls are rich with stories. Its walls are rich with stories. In this book we hear myriad of those voices. First we follow a young person today. Her great-great-grandmother entered America through Ellis Island. As this young girl walks the halls of the famous site, she wonders about the past, the people, and their hopes, dreams and challenges. Here, too, is the voice of Sera, an Armenian girl from the early 1900s. Fleeing the unthinkable in her home country, she longs to join her father in America. As Sera enters the halls of Ellis Island, she lives those same hopes, dreams, and challenges.
The voices of real immigrants -- their suffering in steerage, their first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, and their journey through the Great Hall -- complete this touching look into an important part of America's history. A pivotal time and place is brought to life through a combination of many voices speaking in harmony.
This book got positive reviews, including: "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." (Booklist)
Interest Level: Grade 2-5
DRA Level: 60
Lexile Measure: 630L
Grade Level Equivalent: 5
Guided Reading Levels: W
Read-Aloud vs. Individual Reading:
This book will need to be a read-aloud rather than for individual reading, as the reading level will be too high for the children in this book's intended audience. Some fifth graders may be able to read this book on their own near the end of the year (since fifth graders *generally* end the year reading on the level of this book.)
Below are sample spreads from inside this book. Such stunning illustrations, especially the color choices.