Thursday, April 4, 2019

PICTURE BOOK - Gittel's Journey: An Ellis Island Story by Leslea Newman

Illustrated by  Amy June Bates
2019, Abrams Books for Young Readers
HC $17.99
40 light brown pgs.
Goodreads rating:  4.18- 114 ratings
My rating:  4
Endpapers:  Woodcut ship/waves/sky/statue of liberty on blue
Borders of each page look like woodcuts, and there are larger prints of candlesticks and the statue of liberty on their own endpages.
1st line/s:  " 'Gittel, will you write to me from America?' Raisa asked."

My comments:  This is a touching story, one that has been told in some version over and over.  This time, however, it's not a family coming to a new land, it's one single nine-year-old girl.  I can't even imagine, but it's based on a true story, although the "true story" girl was a few years older. Local illustrator Amy June Bates did a wonderful job with the illustrations, which include some lovely block prints (I do enjoy block prints!) Quite a bit of text, but the story is told well so that even quite young children will understand.

Goodreads:  Gittel and her mother were supposed to immigrate to America together, but when her mother is stopped by the health inspector, Gittel must make the journey alone. Her mother writes her cousin’s address in New York on a piece of paper. However, when Gittel arrives at Ellis Island, she discovers the ink has run and the address is illegible! How will she find her family? Both a heart-wrenching and heartwarming story, Gittel’s Journey offers a fresh perspective on the immigration journey to Ellis Island. The book includes an author’s note explaining how Gittel’s story is based on the journey to America taken by Lesléa Newman’s grandmother and family friend.

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